The Latter Rain
by Dr. Ken Matto
(Joel 2:23 KJV) 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.
The past eight weeks has been a real challenge for those of us living in the Northeast, especially New Jersey. Without exaggeration I could probably estimate that five out of every seven days it rained. We have not seen a nice weekend since April. One week from tomorrow Summer begins in our region and so far the temperature has risen over eighty degrees only twice since Spring began in March. Well I dont want to focus in on the weather report, I want us to look at the great promise of the Latter Rain that God gives us and the insight in the above verse. In Joel 2:23, we read about God giving us the Latter Rain and it begins in the first month. This is significant because in the book of Exodus, we read that God changed the Calendar and made Nisan the first month of the year.
(Exo 12:2 KJV) This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
(Num 28:16 KJV) And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD.
(Esther 3:7 KJV) In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar.
We read that the Passover was also celebrated in the month Nisan, which was the first month. It is also noteworthy that the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified in the month of Nisan which corresponded to the Passover and according to Joel the beginning of the Latter Rain. This means that the Latter Rain commenced in the first month. When the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected, this began the Latter Rain which is the sending forth of the Gospel to the entire world and we see a beginning of the Latter Rain but not an ending, because the end will occur on the last day, when the last one is saved.
(James 5:7 KJV) Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Here we see in James 5:7 that the Latter Rain is tied to the coming of the Lord in terms of a harvest. As the farmer waits for the harvest which is nourished by the rain throughout the entire season the plants are in the ground until they give their fruit at the time of harvest. Looking at this event and the passage in Joel, along with other supporting Scripture here, we can safely conclude that the Latter Rain began at the cross, or the first month as stated in Joel. The Latter Rain is the whole New Testament period before the Lord's return, when the sanctuary will be cleansed according to Daniel 8:14. Whenever we send the gospel forth, we are in essence, sending the Latter Rain which is symbolic of the Gospel. One day the last one will be saved and then comes the harvest. We need to get busy and get the Gospel out so we may bring home Gods Elect to their own land.
(Mat 13:39 KJV) The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. (6/13/03)