The Desire of the Ages
No Latter Rain Clarified
“Therefore the showers have been withholden,
and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.”
I am not saying that God is not going to give a latter rain at all. I believe he will with all of my heart. I am assured, though, that he is not going to revive the fallen system of the Prophetic-Charismatic Movement. I say this before God. They have defiled themselves with the multitude of their idols, and with their whoredoms and wickedness they have polluted the land, and God will not revive it, because they present nothing to be revived. Just because there may be many regenerate persons therein does not make it a holy place. I remind you that all of God's people were carried away captive to Babylon and other countries as well, but this did not automatically make those places acceptable to a holy God! God says to his people in a very similar circumstance to the one we currently find ourselves in, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Cor. 6:17, 18).
You say within yourselves, “This cannot be!” But, my reader, will you limit the Holy One of Israel? Will you boast yourself against your Maker? What if God has willed to do a new thing in the earth in these last days, and he no longer is going to work through this system which we have established with all of our lights, cameras, and action? What if God wants to abandon your ship? Would you be with him?
It is written, “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isa. 43:18, 19). This is the requirement to seeing what you claim to desire more than life itself: revival. God does not say that you must believe that you are the new thing in order to see the new thing, but that you must be willing to abandon all (but the word of God), even if it means your comfortable church life. I am convinced that what God's going to do is about to step on most zealous, on-fire, “radical” Christians’ toes.
Who shall stand when Christ suddenly comes into his temple?
Do you remember the time Christ unexpectedly cleansed his temple? No, not the instance recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke where Christ purged the temple at the end of his earthly ministry... I'm sure they half expected that. I am talking about John chapter 2. The beginning of Christ's ministry. How unexpected! How sudden! “Who can abide the day of his coming?” (Mal. 3:2).
Beloved, hear me now! He's coming again, and not just upon the clouds! He's coming to visit the earth again in New Testament glory before it's all said and done! There will be no divisions in this coming revival! Do you remember the church of Acts, how they had all things common: they had one heart, mind, soul and spirit – they spoke the same things, had the same judgment... They were perfectly joined together! (If you don't believe me, please see these following scriptures: Acts 4:32; I Cor. 1:10; Php. 1:27, etc.). This will not be a “One Night” stand with the Spirit of God – O! the filthy thing we've become – this will be where God pours out his Spirit just like at Pentecost, when they moved in power, they were of the same doctrine, they did not break rank, neither did one thrust another. This is not too good to be true, it's too good and it's true! This is something worth dying for!
Leonard Ravenhill said it a thousand times, “Christ is not coming back for an old bag woman – He's coming back for a Bride!” This wretched thing that we call the church today is not what I believe Christ shed his blood for, but I will say that I believe he is going to get what he paid for – the Father will make sure of that. Christ died for a spotless bride, and his blood has never lost its power - he's still on the throne, he has not yet forsaken this sad world (though she has long since forsaken him in the name of “Christianity”).
Consider with me... Would you be willing to turn all of the lights up, the smoke-machines off, stop all the pre-sermon fun and games, ice-breakers, and strategies designed to please seekers (i.e., lost men), no more concerts, just a few songs, a capella. Are you really willing to ask the hard questions: “Lord, is my church an old wineskin?” or, “Dear Jesus, is your 'new' thing going to contradict 'my' thing?” or, “Lord, am I really willing to say anything, go anywhere, or do anything? Am I considering my own name, reputation, church, ministry, or what family and friends will think of me?” Dear reader, you cannot please God and man. You cannot serve God and man. If you are the servant of man, then you cannot be the servant of God.
If you want to walk with God now in true power and communion of the Holy Ghost, and you desire to stay with Christ and not be one of the “many” who will be offended when he does this new thing in the earth, then you must forsake all of your ways and all of the things you consider indispensable and be a man sold out for Christ and his glory. This will look staggering in the Christian world we live in today, called America. You will be called a puritan, a methodist, a monk, a divisive fellow, and proud.
There will be a great shaking soon, and if you do not have the heart that I am describing, you will be lost in the process. This is not a game, brother and sister – sleeping virgins. I'm pleading with you to awake, arise from the dead and Christ will give you light! Trim your wicks, for the Bride-groom cometh! Go ye forth to meet him! The hour is hastening on now, our redemption is nearer than when we first believed, the evil day is approaching, the heavens are waxing old and the fires are kindling!
Reader, are you ready for the coming revival?
The Latter Rain
Throughout the generations of human history, there has been one driving factor which, as a spur, has compelled the years to roll on with avalanche-like fury, building in crescendo and climactic force to the final act of human history. All the kingdoms of the earth, in their various rises and falls, all of the mighty monarchs, despots, presidents, and military generals, every Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Washington, Churchill, Hitler, or Stalin – whether they were conscious of it or not – were mere puzzle pieces in the final manifestation of the Kingdom of God. This is the desire of the ages, and yet this was so little known of those who apparently ruled those ages! Yet God was faithfully declaring, from the beginning, through prophets and holy men, his purposes in all that seemingly threatened to thwart this great end of all things.
“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth
for the manifestation of the sons of God.
For the creature was made subject to vanity,
not willingly, but by reason of him who hath
subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself
also shall be delivered from the bondage
of corruption into the glorious liberty of
the children of God.”
Deep in the heart of God this desire has existed, and this most surely has been the grand design in all the works his hands have wrought hitherto – bringing this world and all created things into the obedience of his heavenly kingdom. The day in which the sons of God are manifested and his kingdom comes to fruition once and for all - shattering all other kingdoms - this is the day in which the plan which has ever been in the heart and mind of God is fulfilled. But leading up to this, there is something which must take place. There is to be a generation which will be taken into the hand of their almighty, all-sovereign God as the instrumental age which he shall possess to himself to finally usher in his appearing.
This is no small responsibility, and God knows this will take nothing less than an outpouring such has never been seen in human history. “A Pentecost to out-Pentecost Pentecost” (Ravenhill). This will be a greater condemnation than that of Noah, who “condemned the world” and brought on, through the instrumentality of his prophesying, that deluge which ended one world and gave birth to another. This will be a condemnation of fire by which not the earth only, but the very heavens shall be dissolved with fervent heat to make way for the “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness”! This will be an even greater salvation than that which began to be wrought in the new creation which Christ instated in his death, burial, and resurrection! How, you ask? When Christ died and rose again there was salvation – yes! - but there was not the fullness of salvation, the consummation of all things, which we await. There was a passing away of the shadowy figures and patterns contained in the Old Testament law – yes! - but, beloved, there is going to be a passing away of the shadows which even now exist in this present dispensation! For it is written, “We know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (I Cor. 13:9-12). There is, even at this present time, still a shade cast over our eyes, and that veil shall pass away when His kingdom finally comes, and His will is done on earth as it is in heaven, to its highest degree!
This is not the common theology of our day known as “the manifest sons of God”, or, “the latter rain”, for as I previously explained, there shall be no latter rain as is commonly so called; nevertheless, I believe there shall be a latter rain in these last days that will be a climactic event in which the Bride makes herself ready! “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7).
In the last days, saith God, there shall be dreams, visions, and the spirit of prophecy, but there shall be blood, fire, and pillars of smoke too, and then this great manifestation of power will come, but not without those key elements. This is going to prove the patience of the saints as never before. The saints will be tried like as never before. As never before, “brother will deliver up brother” and the bitter hatred and deceit of apostates will be at an all-time high. You will not, nor can you, hear this on the latest news broadcast, or from the latest YouTube prophet; these things are not revealed by flesh and blood but through the Spirit! We need God to open our eyes that we would see, and in seeing, be not offended at the coming of our Lord.
This will be the greatest of times and the worst of times, and it will be at this time that “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Dan. 12:10). The times we are going into are altogether unparalleled. At the beginning of this dispensation, (that is, the “former rain”), there was that Antichrist-archetype, Nero, but in the days we are running into at breakneck speed, we will get that Wicked, that Man of Sin, that Antichrist fulfilling every other type, prophesied of so often throughout our New Testament, given to us in full volume as we cannot now presently fathom. This is what is implicit in those ominous words, “blood, fire, and pillars of smoke”. This is the context in which the latter rain is spoken of.
Do you still want it?
For a little over 1,700 years now, since that diabolical Edict of Milan, wherein the locks of consecration of Christ's Church were shorn, and religious toleration of Christianity was set in motion, we have been mostly asleep, for it was in the “blood, fire and smoke” that God predestined that his church would shine in all of its glorious luster and beauty given her of her Lord. But, by God's grace, there will be a fire kindled in the earth again that will burn with all of the fierce indignation and power of Satan himself against the saints of God. We have yet to see this.
The end of days is spoken of as a time unparalleled in the arena of human events. “And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time” (Dan. 12:1). Does this awaken the lukewarm Christianity you have learned to love in this precarious generation we just so happen to find ourselves in? We need to be alarmed, for what we have learned to count normal and acceptable in Christianity are the very things that are going to be turned against us in the last days, for they are not preparing us to be the unprecedented generation to meet the unprecedented hour of human history! We need to tremble before the word of God as we have not hitherto accustomed ourselves so to do!
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since
the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And except those days should be shortened,
there should no flesh be saved:
but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.”
This will not be some distant enemy or faceless adversary, like Al-Qaeda or ISIS (bloodthirsty though they be); this will be a very present, inescapable, exclusive murderer of true Christians. It will not be a persecution of Catholics, Coptics, or even right-wing extremists, no; this will be a very specific scourge peculiarly designed by God to purge his true people, and employed by Satan to destroy “the seed of the woman”. There will be a strange peace given to all those who formerly imagined the judgment to undeniably involve them. We have to come to grips with where we are going. This is not going to be some Third Reich, or reign of terror that we have seen, tragic and apparently matchless though they be. This flood is going to tragically wash away all of those that are not absolutely sold out to the biblical Christ, seeking him with all of their hearts, in a current of unrighteousness which shall (it must) deceive everyone but those that are eternally elect in the mind of God.
We have been raised to be disobedient, fearless children of our heavenly Father, but God is going to get for himself a people that will do the works of their fathers. He will get this people that seek his face, and not their own names and ministries, based upon his own faithfulness and mercy. God is jealous for his glory in the earth, and he is able to raise one up, and to put down another, in order to get for himself glory in these last days. This is both a hopeful and awful truth to behold. Where will you stand when God arises and the arm of the Lord awakes for judgment in this generation – the judgment he says in his word begins at the house of God? O soberly consider these words, dear reader, for your soul's sake – yes! - but much more for the glory of his thrice glorious and worthy name!
“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it:
it is even the time of Jacob's trouble;
but he shall be saved out of it.”
To this hour is attributed the most terrifying yet glorious qualifications. This is the time in which “some of them of understanding shall fall”, and yet God shall, by their apostasy, instruct those that have maintained their integrity in the way of the Lord and shall also use their fall “to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end” (Dan. 11:35). God says in these days the devil will make “war with the saints”, “wear out the saints”, and, “overcome them and kill them” (Dan. 7:21; Rev. 11:7; 13:7)! This is staggering. Would to God we would wake up and smell the judgment of God that's descending upon us with all of the collective force of time and eternity about to crush heaven to earth with all of the holy violence and zeal in the holy, jealous heart of God. As it is written, “The zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall accomplish this” (Isa. 9:7).
“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.”
This is going to be the time of Church history when the darkness within and without her walls shall fall to its darkest grade; notwithstanding, this is the hour that the Lord hath sworn, and for so many a millennia has spoken of, in the which he shall take up his people and wear them as the very robes of his glory and display through us the majesty of his heavenly, and incomprehensibly holy, government! As an imposing monarch would array himself in the most gorgeous and terrible garments as he goes forth to war, so shall our God take us up and gird us upon his loins as he strides forth across the breadth of this earth in the last days. Our God shall take us for his wardrobe in the last days! For what? For judgment and for mercy. This is not going to be some nominal display of power that the magicians of Egypt can mock; no, this shall be such a work that sets the wicked world on fire with blasphemy against this God, and yet that brings in the long awaited and looked for vintage of God's people, the Jews, who for so long now have lain in darkness and legal blindness of their God, and then, in that day, “all Israel shall be saved”! As it was written,
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”
The holy heart of God has long time meditated (yea, from eternity past) this final generation that would end all generations. He has meditated the works that would be wrought by their hands through the mighty Spirit of their God, which “God hath before ordained that they should walk in” (Eph. 2:10). There are “exploits” that God has determined shall be manifested by the generation of his merciful election, by which he will declare his glory one last time to this untoward world, and so save a remnant in the last days from among the Gentiles and save all of his former people, the Jews...
O what terrifying scenes of awesome glory! Do you see what I see, beloved?