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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 10 - THE LATTER RAIN (HOSEA 6:3, ETC)

INTRODUCTION:  LET ME TELL YOU A LITTLE BIT ABOUT FARMING IN  OT
TIMES.  IN PALESTINE THE RAINY SEASON IS FROM  AUTUMN TO SPRING. 
THE AUTUMN RAIN MOSTENS THE SUMMER SUN-BAKED SOIL AND ALLOWS
PLOWING AND PLANTING.  DURING THE WINTER THEY HAVE HEAVY RAINS. 
AND THEN IN THE SPRING IN PALESTINE THEY HAVE A RAIN THAT MATURES
THE GRAIN JUST BEFORE HARVEST. (SDA DICT. 975)

     THE AUTUMN RAIN IS CALLED THE EARLY RAIN AND THE SPRING RAIN
IS CALLED THE LATTER RAIN.

I. LATTER RAIN

     A. TURN WITH ME TO JOEL 2. I'LL READ TO YOU v.23, 26-29.

          1. IS GOD TALKING ABOUT EATING OR THE HOLY SPIRIT OR 
          WHAT? (I THINK HE MIXES THE TWO CONCEPTS. I THINK THAT HE
          WAS PROMISING FOOD, BUT HE WAS ALSO MAKING A PARALLEL TO
          BLESSINGS FROM THE H.S.)

     B. NOW LETS TURN TO ACTS 2:1-4 AND 12-18.

     C. OUR LESSON SPEAKS OF THE LATTER RAIN, BUT PETER SAYS IT 
     STARTED AT PENTECOST 2,000 YEARS AGO.  
          1. SO, WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR TODAY? (GOD SENT RAIN TO
          HELP WITH THE CROPS. THE PICTURE OF THE WINTER AND SPRING
          RAINS OR EARLY AND LATTER RAINS IS A PICTURE OF GOD'S
          BLESSING.  PETER MAKES THE CONNECTION BETWEEN BLESSING OF
          THE HS AND RAIN.  AND JOEL 2:28-31 KEYS THIS TO THE LAST
          DAYS.)

          2. LETS ASSUME THAT WE ARE WRONG AND THAT WE ARE NOT IN
          THE LAST DAYS.  SHOULD WE STILL LOOK FOR THE "RAIN" OF
          THE HS? (ABSOLUTELY.  IT RAINED IN PALESTINE FROM AUTUMN
          TO HARVEST TIME IN THE SPRING.  WHENEVER WE HAVE A
          HARVEST BEFORE US, WE NEED THE HS. JAMES 5:7 SAYS WE
          SHOULD BE LIKE PATIENT FARMERS WHO WAIT FOR THE RAIN.)

     D. I HAVE A REAL DESIRE TO HAVE THE HS COME INTO OUR HEARTS
     AND OUR CHURCH WITH REAL POWER.  SO LETS LOOK AT HOW THIS
     HAPPENED IN JOEL AND ACTS TO SEE WHAT WE NEED TO DO.

     E. READ PS 84:5-6. DID YOU NOTICE THAT IT SAYS THAT THOSE WHO
     PASS THROUGH THIS VALLEY "MAKE IT A PLACE OF SPRINGS; THE
     AUTUMN RAINS."
          1. HOW DO THEY MAKE THE WATER COME? (84:5 SAYS THEIR 
          STRENGTH IS IN THE LORD. THAT THEY HAVE SET THEIR HEARTS
          ON PILGRIMAGE.) 

     F. SPURGEON'S COMMENTARY ON PS 84:6 SUGGESTS THAT THE VALLEY
     OF BACA IS THE SAME VALLEY CALLED BERACAH IN 2 CHRON 20:26.
     LETS TURN TO 2 CHRON 20  AND FIND OUT HOW THE PEOPLE GOT THE
     BLESSINGS OF THE LORD THERE.
          1. READ 2 CHRON 20:1-4 AND 12-14. DO YOU SEE THE PROBLEM?
               a. WHAT WAS THE ANSWER? (INQUIRE OF THE LORD. TURN
               TO THE LORD. ASK HIM TO HELP. ACKNOWLEDGE THEY HAD
               NO POWER. STAND TOGETHER BEFORE THE LORD.)

          2. IN VERSES 15-17 GOD SAYS THAT HE WILL HELP--IT IS HIS
          FIGHT AND NOT THEIRS. THAT THEY SHOULD STAND FIRM AND NOT
          BE AFRAID OR DISCOURAGED.

          3. READ 20:20-21.  NOTICE ANYTHING SPECIAL ABOUT THE 
          BATTLE GROUPING THAT JEHOSAPHAT CHOSE? (THEY LEAD WITH
          THE CHOIR! AND THEY SANG PRAISES TO GOD!)

          4. WHAT LESSONS DO YOU FIND IN THIS STORY ABOUT GOING 
          THROUGH THE VALLEY OF BACA AND MAKING SOME RAIN? WHAT
          LESSONS ABOUT HOW WE GET THE HS IN HERE IN POWER?

     G. LETS TURN NEXT TO ACTS 1:12-13 AND ACTS 2:1-4.  WHAT WERE
     THEY DOING HERE BEFORE THE RAIN OF THE HS CAME DOWN?
          1. WHAT LESSONS DO YOU FIND IN THIS ACCOUNT? (THEY WERE
          TOGETHER.  THEY WERE PRAYING FOR THE HS.)

     H. LETS GO BACK TO JOEL 2 AND READ v.1, 12-13, 15-17.
          1. WHAT LESSONS DO YOU FIND FROM THAT ACCOUNT? (BLOW THE
          TRUMPET (FOR EX. 3 ANGELS MESSAGE); RELY ON GOD (THOSE IN
          LAND TREMBLE); RETURN TO GOD, FAST, REND YOUR HEART AND
          NOT YOUR GARMENTS; GATHER TOGETHER. MAKE THIS A TOP
          PRIORITY (BRIDGEGROOM LEAVE.)

II. WHY WE WANT THE HOLY SPIRIT?

     A. I TOLD YOU BEFORE THAT I WANTED THE HOLY SPIRIT TO COME
INTO OUR HEARTS AND OUR CHURCH WITH POWER.  I ASSUME THAT YOU WANT
THAT TOO.
          1. WHY DO WE WANT THAT?  WHAT DO WE THINK WILL HAPPEN?

               a.  SOMEONE READ GAL 5:22 OUR LIVES WILL CHANGE: THE
               FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE,
               KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS. ).

               b. TURN WITH ME TO JOHN 16:7-14. WHAT DOES THIS 
               SUGGEST THAT THE HS CAN DO FOR US? 
               
                    (1)CONVICTS US OF SIN. JOHN 16:8

                    (2) GUIDES US TO TRUTH. JOHN 16:13

                    (3) PROPHECY. JOHN 16:13.

III. THE COUNTERFEIT.

     A. THIS WEEK I WAS HOME SICK FOR PART OF THE DAY. AS I WAS 
     EATING BREAKFAST AT HOME, A TALK SHOW THAT I NEVER SEE
     "ROLANDA" CAME ON.  THE SUBJECT WAS MIRACLES, SO I WATCHED IT
     INSTEAD OF GOING BACK TO BED.  AS I LISTENED TO THE STORIES OF
     MIRACLES, I ASKED MYSELF IF I THOUGHT THIS WAS A GENUINE
     MIRACLE OR NOT. 

          1. IF SOMEONE SAYS THAT THEY HAVE HAD A MIRACLE HAPPEN,
          SHOULD WE JUST ACCEPT IT AS THE HS? 

          2. LETS LOOK AT THREE TEXTS ON THIS. FIRST, LETS READ 
          MARK 9:38-40.
               a. SECOND. LETS READ MATT 12:22-24 AND 31-32.

               b. THIRD, LETS READ MATT 24: 24 (ALSO 2 THES 2:3, 9-
               10; REV 13:12-14)

          3. WHAT DO YOU CONCLUDE FROM THIS? (WE SHOULD BE SHY 
          ABOUT JUST DECLARING THAT SOMETHING IS FROM THE DEVIL.
          BUT WE NEED TO TEST THINGS TO SEE IF THEY SQUARE WITH THE
          TRUTH OF THE BIBLE.)

IV. NEXT WEEK:  THE LOUD CRY. REV 18:1-5. STUDY!