|A People of the Word Ready for the Latter Rain - By Dennis Smith||| Print ||
Those who are ready to receive the latter rain of the spirit, make it through the time of trouble and are ready to meet Jesus will definitely be a people of the Word of God. The Bible will have played a major role in enlightening them concerning God’s will. They also will have learned the truth that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
A Lesson of Faith
I had the opportunity to practice this when I went to Indonesia to conduct seminars on the Holy Spirit. Indonesia has a large Muslim population. Being an American and a Christian are not the most popular characteristics for a person to have there. Satan tired to make me fearful. However, I choose to depend 100% on God’s Word. Such promises as those found in Psalm 34:7 and Isaiah 54:14, 17-18 were very comforting to me. I do know that we may be called to become a martyr for Christ. Yet, God put these promises on my heart and they gave me peace and security in Him.
Also, in many countries the sanitation and disease potential is greater than in the United States. Satan tried to make me fearful that I would become sick. However, again I choose to trust God’s promises that I would be protected from Satan’s attacks in the area of health. I was doing all I could to practice God’s health laws. So I looked to God and His Word for protection. Such promises as the following gave me courage and faith that I would not get sick.
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; …and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Mark 16:17-18
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19
I choose to make these promises personal and believe them completely. I traveled to several places in the country, ate at restaurants in cities and in the rural areas and never got sick. I learned what it means to live by the words that proceed from the mouth of God. That is the lesson God will continue to teach all who will allow Him to prepare them for the latter rain and Christ’s coming. There will come a time when all that God’s people will have is their faith in God’s Word. All earthly support will be withdrawn. Their money will be worthless. All they will have is God to look to for their daily needs.
One of our ministers in Indonesia told me of an evangelist from the West who was afraid to eat the food the people provided. He brought his own food and water. This didn’t go over very well with our Indonesian people. Besides that, he ended up getting sick anyway. I did not what this to be my experience when seeking to minister to God’s people.
Faith, Not Fear
We must never become fearful of what Satan might do to us. Job said,
“For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” Job 3:25 NIV
When we fear we show doubt in God’s Word. Fear is the opposite of faith and gives Satan a right of passage into our life in the very area we fear. Instead of fear, we must put our complete trust in God’s Word. Remember, “faith is not believing God can. Faith is knowing God will.” We must have the confidence expressed by John:
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1John 5:14-15
This is the kind of faith and confidence in God’s Word those will have who are ready to receive the latter rain and make it through the final crisis.
Meditate on the Word
In order for us to have this kind of faith we must become very familiar with God’s Word. It must become our meditation day and night (Joshua 1:8). Then our ways will be prosperous and victorious. We will be like a “tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season (Psalm 1:2-3).
God’s Word is to play a major role in our victories over temptation and sin. It does more than simply informs us concerning what is sin (Romans 7:7). It is by faith in the promise of the Bible that we obtain victory and become like Christ (2Peter 1:4).
Paul calls the Word of God the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). The Greek word translated “word” in this verse is “rhema”, which means spoken Word. Therefore, the Word of God spoken in faith will bring the changes in our life that are necessary for us to become like Jesus in character and ministry. Jesus spoke of this when He said;
“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” Mark 11:23
Notice that Jesus strongly emphasized the importance of “saying” what we believe will happen. When we speak the will of God as revealed in His Word and believe what we say, it will come to pass in our life. Speaking the Word of God in faith is a very powerful weapon.
Ellen White wrote of the power of God’s Word.
“The creative energy that called the worlds into existence is in the word of God. This word imparts power; it begets life. Every command is a promise; accepted by the will, received into the soul, it brings with it the life of the Infinite One. It transforms the nature and re-creates the soul in the image of God.
“The life thus imparted is in like manner sustained. ‘By every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4)…” Education, p.126
“The father of lies quakes and trembles when the truth of God, in burning power, is thrown in his face.” Vol.5, Testimonies, p.426
There is no shortage of power to transform us into the image of Christ. Faith in God’s promises bring the Holy Spirit’s power into our life. When we learn how to exercise the weapons of our warfare, we will then be able to pull down every stronghold Satan has in our life, whether spiritual, emotional or physical (2Corinthians 10:4-5). For a more detailed description of how we are to obtain the victory over Satan in our life through God’s Word and the abiding presence of Christ I recommend my books, Spirit Baptism & Abiding in Christ and Spirit Baptism & Deliverance.
Just before Jesus comes Satan’s deceptions will be very effective in leading multitudes away from God and cause them to be lost when Jesus comes. The deceptions will be so powerful that “if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).
Understanding and accepting the Word of God is essential in order to avoid the deceptions of the last days and being ready for the latter rain. Paul warns us:
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2Thessalonians 2:10-12
We are in serious danger if we choose to reject the teachings of God’s Word. Through God’s Spirit living in them, those who receive the latter rain and are ready to meet Jesus will have a love for God’s Word. It will be their meditation day and night. It will be their guide in every aspect of life. They will agree with the Psalmist when he wrote that the commandments of God’s Word are “more to be desired than gold and sweeter than the honey comb” (Psalm 19:10).
Only those who have diligently studied God’s Word and by His grace ordered their lives after its instruction will be shielded from Satan’s last great deceptions just before and during the time of trouble. Only they will make it victoriously through the last great crisis and be ready for Christ’s coming. Ellen White writes concerning this with the words:
“Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures, and who have received the love of the truth, will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive. By the Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise. To all, the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation, the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of God now so firmly established upon his Word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible, and the Bible only?” The Great Controversy, p. 625
This is why Satan does everything he can to keep God’s people from digging deep into God’s Word. He knows if he can cause them to neglect personal Bible study and prayer they will not be ready to receive the latter rain that is necessary to make it through the final crisis. They will ultimately yield to his temptations. Ellen White warned us of this.
“Satan will, if possible, prevent them [God’s people] from obtaining a preparation to stand in that day. He will so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of this life, and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief.” The Great Controversy, p. 625
This goes right along with Jesus’ warning recorded in the gospel of Luke.
“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:34-36
It is clear from God’s Word and the Spirit of Prophecy that those ready to receive the latter rain of the Spirit and meet Jesus will be a people of the Word of God. They will have learned the lessons of putting their complete faith in God’s Word and will look to God’s fulfillment of His Word for their daily provisions. They will be just like Jesus Who applied the Word of God to every aspect of His life and met every temptation with a “thus says the Lord” (Matthew 4).
This is the reason the Lord allows His children to go through difficult times now. Such times give them opportunity to trust His promises. Just like Peter walking on the water. He left the boat at Jesus word. He was actually walking on Christ’s word. It was not a presumptuous act. However, when he began looking at the danger of the situation; the huge life threatening waves, his faith wavered. He lost sight of Christ and began to sink. We must learn the lesson to “walk on Christ’s word” in all situations. Such lessons of faith are necessary for God’s people to learn if they are to be ready for the latter rain and victoriously make it through the final crisis of earth’s history.