Preparation for the Latter Rain 2
From Elder Meade MacGuire
What Satan fears the most. The Necessary Preparation.
Early Writings p. 71.
"I also saw that many do not realize what they must be in order to live in the sight of the Lord without a High Priest in the sanctuary, through the time of trouble. Those who receive the seal of the living God, and are protected in the time of trouble, must reflect the image of Jesus fully. I saw that none could share the refreshing, unless they obtain the victory over every besetment; over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. We should therefore be drawing nearer and nearer to the Lord, and be earnestly seeking that preparation necessary to enable us to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. Let all remember that God is holy, and that none but holy beings can ever dwell in His presence."
Testimonies Vol 5, p. 214.
"Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul-temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost."
Testimonies Vol 1, 187, 188.
"Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols, and heed the counsel of the True Witness. If any will not be purified through obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride, and evil passions, the angels of God have the charge, 'They are joined to their idols, let them alone,' and they pass on to their work, leaving those with their sinful traits unsubdued to the control of evil angels. Those who come up to every point, and stand, every test, and overcome, be the price what it may have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain and thus be fitted for translation."
Review and Herald, March 22, 1892.
"Today you are to give yourself to God that He may make you vessels unto--honor, and meet for His service. Today you are to give yourselves to God that you may be emptied of self, emptied of envy, jealously, evil-surmisings, strife; everything that shall be dishonoring to God. Today you are to have your vessel purified that it may be ready for the heavenly dew, ready for the showers of the latter rain; for the latter rain will come, and the blessing of God will fill every soul that is purified from every defilement. It is our work today to yield our souls to Christ, that we maybe fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord- fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit."
Testimonies Vol 1, p. 619.
"I was shown that if God's people make no effort on their part, but wait for the refreshing to come upon them and remove their wrongs and correct their errors; if they depend upon that to cleanse them from filthiness of the flesh and spirit and fit them to engage in the loud cry of the third angel, they will be found wanting. The refreshing power of God comes only on those who have prepared themselves for it by doing the work which God bids them; namely, cleansing themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God'.
Testimonies Vol 5, page 216.
"Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues, or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God - candidates for heaven. Go forward my brethren and sisters. . . Search the Scriptures for yourselves that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour."
God has said much to encourage us to seek for this experience, and has assured us many times of His desire to pour out His Spirit, but it is constantly emphasized that it will come only to those who seek with great earnestness. Valuable lessons are given us from the experience of Pentecost.
Testimonies to Minister and Workers p. 170.
"If we know God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, unspeakable gladness will come to the soul. 0 how we need the divine presence: For the baptism of the Holy Spirit every worker should be breathing out his prayer to God. Companies should be gathered together to call upon God for special help, for heavenly wisdom, that the people of God may know how to plan, and devise, and execute the work.
"Especially should men pray that the Lord will choose His agents, and baptize His missionaries with the Holy Spirit. For ten days the disciples prayed before the Pentecostal blessing came. It required all that time to bring them to an understanding of what it meant to offer effectual prayer, drawing nearer and nearer to God, confessing their sins, humbling their hearts before God, and by faith beholding Jesus, and becoming changed into His image. When the blessing did come, it filled all the place where they were assembled, and endowed with power, they went forth to do effectual work for the Master."
Ministry of Peter, p. 9.
"The disciples were themselves astonished at the results of this visitation, and the quick and abundant harvest of souls. All the people were filled with amazement. Those who did not yield their prejudice and bigotry, were so overawed that they dared not by voice or violence attempt to stay the mighty work, and for the time being, their opposition ceased.
"This testimony in regard to the establishment of the Christian church is given us, not only as an important part of sacred history, but also as a lesson. All who profess the name of Christ should be waiting, watching, and praying with one heart. All differences would be put away, and unity and tender love for one another pervade the whole. Then our prayers may go up together to our Heavenly Father with strong, earnest faith. Then we may wait with patience and hope for the fulfillment of the promise.
"The answer may come with sudden velocity and overpowering might; Or it may be delayed for days and weeks, and our faith receive a trial. But God knows how and when to answer our prayer. It is our part of the work to put ourselves in connection with the divine channel. God is responsible for His part of the work. He is faithful who has promised. The great and important matter with us is to be of one heart and mind, putting aside all envy and malice, and as humble suppliants to watch and wait. Jesus, our representative and head, is ready to do for us what He did for the praying, watching ones on the day of Pentecost."
Old Gospel Workers p. 369-371.
"As Jesus was about to leave His disciples to ascend into heaven, He commissioned them to bear the gospel message to all nations, tongues, and peoples. . . All who were fully identified as disciples of Christ and associated with the apostles as evangelists, assembled together at Jerusalem. They put away all differences. They continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, that they might receive the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit; for they were to preach the gospel in the demonstration of the Spirit and with power of God. . . They were waiting in expectation of the fulfillment of His promise, and were praying with special fervency.
"This is the very course that should be pursued by those who act a part in the work of proclaiming the coming of the Lord in the clouds of heaven; for a People are to be prepared to stand in the great day of God. Although Christ had given the promise to His disciples that they should receive the Holy Spirit, this did not remove the necessity of prayer. They prayed all the more earnestly: they continued In prayer with one accord.
"Those who are now engaged in the solemn work of preparing a people for the coming of the Lord should also continue in prayer."
Testimonies Vol. 8 p. 15
"In obedience to the word of their Master, the disciples assembled in Jerusalem to wait for the fulfillment of God's promise. Here they spent ten days, days of deep heart-searching. They put away all differences and drew close together in Christian fellowship. At the end of ten days the Lord fulfilled His promise by a wonderful outpouring of His Spirit."
Testimonies Vol 8, p. 20.
"To us, today, as verily as to the first disciples, the promise of the Spirit belongs. God will today endow men and women with power from above, as He endowed those who on the day of Pentecost heard the word of salvation. At this very hour His Spirit and His grace are for all who need them and will take Him at His word.
"Notice that it was after the disciples had come into perfect unity, and they were no longer striving for the highest place, that the Spirit was poured out. They were of one accord. All differences had been put away. And the testimony borne of them after the Spirit had been given is the same. Mark the word: 'The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.' Acts 4:32. The Spirit of Him who died that sinners might live animated the entire congregation of believers."
Testimonies Vol. 5, p.158.
"We should pray as earnestly for the descent of the Holy Spirit as the disciples prayed on the day of Pentecost. If they needed it at that time, we need it more today. Moral darkness like a funeral pall covers the earth. All manner of false doctrines, heresies, and Satanic deceptions are misleading the minds of men. Without the Spirit and power of God it will be in vain that we labor to present the truth."
Emphasis is also placed upon the danger of being unprepared when the latter Rain is poured out, for this preparation is to be made through the ministry of the Early Rain.
Testimonies to Ministers and Workers p. 507.
"Only those who are living p to the light they have will receive greeter light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it."
Testimonies to Ministers and Workers, p. 399.
"We may be sure that when the Holy Spirit is poured out, those who did not receive and appreciate the early rain, will not see or understand the value of the latter rain."
Signs of the Times, August 11, 1892.
"Those who follow in the light need have no anxiety lest that in the outpouring of the latter rain they will not be baptized with the Holy Spirit. If we would receive the light of the glorious angel that shall lighten the earth with His glory, let us see to it that our hearts are cleansed, emptied of self, and turned toward heaven, that they may be ready for the latter rain."
Testimonies to Ministers and Workers p. 66.
"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all of one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing, mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. In that assembly there were mockers who did not recognize the work of the Holy Spirit and they said, 'These men are all full of new wine.' The Lord was at work in His own way; but had there been such a manifestation among us upon whom the ends of the world are come, would not some have mocked as on that occasion? Those who did not come under the influence of the Holy Spirit knew it not. To this class the disciples seemed like drunken men."
Testimonies Vol. 5, p. 456.
"The same disobedience and failure which were seen in the Jewish church have characterized in a greater degree the people who have had this great light from heaven in the last message of warning. Shall we let the history of Israel be repeated in our experience? Shall we, like them, squander our opportunities and privileges until God shall permit oppression and persecution to come upon us? Will the work which might be performed in peace and comparative prosperity be left undone until it must be performed in days of darkness, under the pressure of trial and persecution?"
Ibid. p 463.
"The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity she will have to do in a terrible crisis, under most discouraging, forbidding circumstances. The warnings that worldly conformity has silenced or witheld, must be given under the fiercest opposition from the enemies of the faith. . . This day is Just before us."
Testimonies Vol. 81 p. 246.
"If the lay members of the church will arouse to do the work that they can do, going on a warfare at their own charges; each seeing how much he can accomplish in winning souls to Jesus, we shall see many leaving the ranks of Satan to stand under the banner of Christ. If our people will act upon the light that is given in these few words of instruction, we shall surely see of the salvation of God. Wonderful revivals will follow. Sinners will be converted, and many souls will be added to the church. When we bring our hearts into unity with Christ, and our lives into harmony with His work, the Spirit that fell on the disciples on the day of Pentecost will fall on us."
Testimonies Vol.8, p. 297-228.
"The Lord calls for a renewal of the straight testimony borne in years past. He calls for a renewal of spiritual life. The spiritual energies of His people have long been torpid, but there is to be a resurrection from apparent death. By prayer and the confession of sin we must clear the King's highway. As we do this the power of the Spirit will come to us. We need the Pentecostal energy. This will come; for the Lord has promised to send His Spirit as the all-conquering power."
Testimonies Vol. 7, p. 33.
"Why has the history of the work of the disciples as they labored with holy zeal animated and vitalized by the Holy Spirit, been recorded, if it is not that from this record the Lord's people today are to gain an inspiration to work earnestly for Him? What the Lord did for His people in that time, it is just as essential, and more so, that He do for His people today. All that the disciples did, every church member today is to do. And we are to work with as much more fervor, to be accompanied by the Holy Spirit in as much greater measure, as the increase of wickedness demands a more decided call to repentance."
Testimonies Vol. 5, p. 159.
"The plan of salvation is not presented in its simplicity for the reason that few ministers know what simple faith is. An intellectual knowledge of the truth is not enough; we must know its power upon our own hearts and lives. Ministers need to come to Christ as little children. Seek Jesus, brethren; confess your sins, plead with God day and night until you know that for Christ's sake you are pardoned and accepted. Then will you love much because you have been forgiven much. Then you can point others to Christ as the sin pardoning Redeemer. Then you can present the truth from the fulness of a heart that feels its sanctifying power. I fear for you, my brethren. I counsel you to tarry at Jerusalem as did the early disciples, until like them, you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit."
A Brief Review of Points Covered.
1.Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He promised to return.
2.His coming in glory was to be preceded by God's final message of mercy
3.The work was to close in this generation, under the power of the Latter Rain.
4.God wanted to finish the work years ago, but His people were not ready.
5. God foreknew the delay, and made provision for our situation by the Message to the Laodicean church, and Joel 2.
6.When we heed this counsel the revival and reformation will come, with victory over sin and the Righteousness of Christ upon His people.
7.This prepares the way for the Latter Rain and Loud Cry. God's people are sealed, and probation closes.
A vital question should now be considered carefully. Many of God's people are longing for Jesus to come. They are working and praying to that end, and seeking daily to overcome their sins.
But it is evident that many have not understood that "None can share the refreshing unless they obtain the victory over every besetment." When they learn this, they are perplexed. They do not know how to attain such an experience, and some are discouraged, because to them it seems unattainable. This requirement is stated explicitly and frequently.
But surely God would not require us to reach this high and holy standard without making ample provision for those for whom He laid down His life. It is very important that we take God at His word and do not attempt to interpret it in harmony with our own ideas.
Acts of the Apostles, p. 531.
"None need fail of attaining, in his sphere, to perfection of Christian character. By the sacrifice of Christ provision has been made for the believer to receive all things that pertain to life and godliness. God calls upon us to reach the standard of perfection, and places before us the example of Christs character. In His humanity, perfected by a life of constant resistance of evil, the Savior showed that through cooperation with divinity, human beings may in this life attain to perfection of character. This is God's assurance to us that we too may obtain complete victory."
He saves His people from their sins. This must be more than pardon or forgiveness, or we would never stop sinning.
Man sins because his moral nature is fallen, and corrupt and cannot cease from sin. Man was created in God's image, but sin marred and defiled that image. Salvation is the restoration of the divine image.
Desire of Ages p. 478.
"Christ came that He might recreate the image of God in man."
2 Corinthians 3:18.
By living union with Him we are changed into His image.
Mount of Blessing p. 118.
"Jesus said, Be perfect, even as your Father is perfect. If you are the children of God, you are partakers of His nature and you cannot but be like Him. Every child lives by the life or his father. If you are God's children, begotten by His Spirit, you live by the life of God. In Christ 'dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily', and the life of Jesus is made manifest 'in our mortal flesh'. That life in you, will produce the same character, and manifest the same works as it did in Him. Thus you will be in harmony with every precept of His law; for 'the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul'. Through love the righteousness of the law will be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit."
Acts of the Apostles p. 478.
"In his efforts to reach God's ideal for him, the Christian is to despair of nothing. Moral and spiritual perfection, through the grace and power of Christ, is promised to all."
1 Thess. 3:12, 13.
" And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints."
Christ Object Lessons p. 315.
"God requires perfection of His children. His law is a transcript of His own character, and it is the standard of all character. This infinite standard is presented to all that there may be no mistake in regard to the kind of people whom God will have to compose His Kingdom."
Ibid. P. 330.
"God will accept only those who are determined to aim high. He places every human agent under obligations to do his best. Moral perfection is required of all. Never should we lower the standard of righteousness in order to accommodate inherited or cultivated tendencies to wrong doing. We need to understand that imperfection of character is sin. All righteous attributes of character dwell in God as a perfect, harmonious whole, and everyone who receives Christ as a personal Savior is privileged to possess these attributes. And those who would be workers together with God must strive for perfection of every organ of body and quality of the mind."
Sometimes people quote Scriptures which they think set forth a different standard. They ask, does not the Bible say "No one is perfect." We ask, where is the statement? Read Job 1:1,8. What about Romans 3:10. Read verses 10-22. Does that refer to God's children? If so, what about Genesis 7:1; Luke 1:6,7; Hebrews 11:4, etc. Others quote Phil. 3:12. Why not read also verse 15? Whatever we may think of God's requirements for the past, there is no question as to His standard for those who live to see the close of probation, the falling of the plagues, and the coming of Christ.
Great Controversy, p. 623.
"Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Savior be brought to yield to the power of temptation. Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father's commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble. It is in this life that we are to separate sin from us, through faith in the atoning blood of Christ."
Messages to Young People, p. 105.
"Many of us fail to improve our privileges. We make a few feeble efforts to do right, and then go back to our old life of sin. If we ever enter the kingdom of God, we must enter with perfect characters, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing."
Some are conscious of faults which they plan to overcome when trouble comes upon the church.
Great Controversy, p. 620.
"Those who delay a preparation for the day of God cannot obtain it in the time of trouble, or at any subsequent time. The case of all such is hopeless."
Others seem to have the idea that if they "try hard" to overcome and "do the best they can," when Jesus comes He will take care of their faults and imperfections of character.
Testimonies Vol. 5, p. 466.
"It is a solemn thing to die, but a far more solemn thing to live. Every thought and word and deed of our lives will meet us again. What we make of ourselves in probationary time, that we must remain through all eternity. Death brings dissolution to the body, but makes no change in the character. The coming of Christ does not change our characters, it only fixes them forever beyond all change."
Testimonies Vol 2, p. 355.
"We believe without a doubt that Christ is soon coming. . . When He comes He is not to cleanse us of or sins to remove from us the defects in our characters, or to cure us of the infirmities of our tempers and dispositions. If wrought for us at all, this work will all be accomplished before that time. When the Lord comes, those who are holy will be holy still. Those who have preserved their bodies and spirits in holiness, in sanctification and honor, will then receive the finishing touch of immortality. But those who are unjust, unsanctified, and filthy, will remain so forever. No work will then be done for them to remove their defects and give them holy characters. The Refiner does not then sit to pursue His refining process, and remove their sins and their corruption. This will all be done in these hours of probation. It is now that this work is to be accomplished for us. We are now in God's workshop. Many of us are rough stones from the quarry.
"But as we lay hold upon the truth of God, its influence affects us. It elevates us, and removes from us every imperfection and sin of whatever nature. Thus we are prepared to see the King in His beauty, and finally to unite with the pure and heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory. It is here that this work is to be accomplished for us, here that our bodies and spirits are to be fitted for immortality."
Desire of Ages, p. 391.
"By looking constantly to Jesus with the eye of faith, we shall be strengthened. God will make the most precious revelations to His hungering, thirsting people. They will-find that Christ is a personal Savior. As they feed upon His word, they find that it is spirit and life. The Word destroys the natural, earthly nature and imparts a new life in Christ Jesus."
Acts of the Apostles, p. 565.
"We are not yet perfect; but it is our privilege to cut away from the entanglements of self and sin and advance to perfection. Great possibilities, high and holy attainments are placed within the reach of all."
GOD'S PROVISION FOR PERFECTION OF CHARACTER.
1 Thess. 5:23, 24.
God promises to do the work. The Word does not teach that man can make himself perfect - but the contrary. Job 14:4. Jeremiah 13:23
Mount of Blessing, p. 116.
"God has made provision that we may become like Him, and He will accomplish this for all who do not interpose a perverse will and thus frustrate His grace."
Special Testimonies to Ministers, p. 47.
"God offers to unite His divinity with our humanity, and as we fully and continually yield our will to the divine nature, sin is cast out, and Christian perfection in Christ is attained. We cannot over-estimate the importance of the Union of Divinity with Humanity".
2 Peter 1:4
"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
We receive, or inherit, our nature from our earthly parents at birth. It is a fallen, sinful nature, and cannot be good. Therefore we must be born again - of God, and thus inherit the divine nature. John 3:3-6; 1:12,13.
Desire of Ages, p. 172.
"The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see, creates a new being in the image of God,"
Desire of Ages, p. 324.
"When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new power takes possession of the new heart. A change is wrought which man can never accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural element into human nature."
Messages to Young People, p. 165.
"He came to show men how to obey, how to keep all the commandments. He laid hold of divine power AND THIS IS THE SINNER'S ONLY HOPE. He gave His life that man might be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
Ministry of Healing, p. 180.
"Christ came to make us partakers of the divine nature, and His life declares that HUMANITY COMBINED WITH DIVINITY DOES NOT COMMIT SIN."
Christ Object Lessons, p. 320.
"But Christ came in the form of humanity and by His perfect obedience he proved that HUMANITY AND DIVINITY COMBINED can obey every one of Gods precepts.
Testimonies Vol. 7, p. 194.
"It is only through becoming partakers of His nature that we receive power to obey His commandments."
Testimonies Vol. 9, p. 155.
"Those who experience the work of true conversion in their hearts will reveal the fruits of the Spirit in their lives. 0 that those who have so little spiritual life would realize that eternal life can be granted only to those who become partakers of the divine nature, and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust."
Testimonies Vol. 9, P. 187.
"When we are securely anchored in Christ, we have a power that no human being can take from us. Why is this? - because we are partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust, - partakers of the nature of Him who came to this earth clothed with the habiliments of humanity, that He might stand at the head of the human race, and develop a character that was without spot or stain of sin,"
Testimonies, Vol. 9, p. 279.
"Christ clothed His divinity with humanity, and lived a life of prayer and self-denial, and of daily battle with temptation, that He might help those who today are assailed by temptation. He is our efficiency and power. He desires that through the approbation of His grace humanity shall become partakers of the divine nature, and thus escape the corruption that is in the world through lust."
Review and Herald, July 1, 1890.
"Genuine faith appropriates the righteousness of Christ, and the sinner is made an overcomer with Christ; for he is made a partaker of the Divine nature, AND THUS DIVINITY AND HUMANITY ARE COMBINED."
Counsels to Teachers, p. 51, 52.
Review & Herald, July 1,1890.
"We want to see the King in His beauty. Then let us daily keep our eyes fixed upon Christ, the perfection of human character, and, laying hold of His divinf nature, we shall have the strength of divinity to overcome every tendency and desire."
Desire of Ages, p. 123.
"Not even b a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us. Christs humanity was united with divinity: He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold of the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character."
Review and Herald, February 18, 1890.
"In Christ divinity and humanity were combined. Divinity was not degraded to humanity: divinity held its place, but humanity by being united to divinity, withstood the fiercest test of temptation in the wilderness. The Prince of this world came to Christ after His long fast, when He was an hungered, and suggested to Him to command the stones to become bread. But the plan of God devised for the salvation of man, provided that Christ should know hunger, and poverty, and every phase of man's experience. He withstood the temptation with the power that man may command. He laid hold on the throne of God, and there is not a man or woman who may not have access to the same help through faith in God. Man may become a partaker of the divine nature; not a soul lives who may not summon the aid of heaven in temptation and trial. Christ came to reveal the source of His power, that man might never rely on his unaided human capabilities. Those who would overcome must put to the tax every power of their being. They must agonize on their knees before God for divine power. Christ came to be our example and to make known to us that we may be partakers of the divine nature. . .
"Satan did not gain the victory over Christ. He did not put his foot upon the soul of the Redeemer. He did not touch the head, though he bruised the heel. Christ by his own example made it evident that man may stand in integrity. Men may have a power to resist evil - a power that neither earth, nor death, nor hell can master: a power that will place them where they may overcome as Christ overcame. DIVINITY AND HUMANITY MAY BE COMBINED IN THEM."