[Continued from 4-5-22]
In the dream, the Voice coming through my mouth shouted, “I will pour My Spirit upon all flesh! UPON ALL FLESH! Through study, I discovered that the Spirit at Pentecost was not poured out on “all flesh” present that day in Jerusalem. It was only poured out on His servants and handmaidens, the disciples of that era. Here the scene is painted (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:17-21).
Both renditions contain two different and distinct visions of how the Spirit will be poured out. In Joel 2:28-29 and Acts 2:17-18 we see the blessed outpouring on His servants. Reading on in the very next verses, we see another kind of outpouring. Yahweh says, “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD [Yahweh] come” (Joel 2:30-31).
That day will not be nice day for many. In both prophetic passages, there are two vastly different outpourings. The first section reveals the baptism of the Holy Spirit that will take place during the “time of the end.” The second part of that prophetical flow reveals a pouring out of natural disasters and “acts of God,” a day of gloom and terror (Joel 2: 30- 31). This day of terror is when Yahweh has His angel pour out the vials of wrath. This shows us that both the latter day pouring forth of the Spirit and the pouring out of the vials of wrath happen at basically the same time in history—our time. The Upper Room pouring out of the Spirit was a type and shadow of what will take place on the earth at the beginning of “the time of the end” (Dan. 12:1). We are living in that time.
Christ warns us of that time (Matthew 24:15, 21- 22, 29). The pouring out of His Spirit that brings power from on high happens first. But not every human being will be so blessed.
But Joel, right after the first outpouring of His Spirit, speaks of a universal scourge. Christ calls it the pouring forth of the vials of wrath. How ghastly that will be for all the inhabitants of the earth. For all will see the sun “turned to darkness before the great and terrible day of the LORD come.”
Some will say that the outpouring can only mean the baptism of the Holy Spirit like on the day of Pentecost. However, the scriptures are very clear that “all things are of God” (2 Cor. 5:18). And because “God is a Spirit,” then “all things are of the Spirit” (John 4:24). Even the pouring forth of the wrath of God upon all flesh [except those spared for the elect’s sake]. Yes, the elect, the sons and daughters of God will be on earth during tribulation.
He says, “Pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.” After all seven vials are poured out, “a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne [said], It is done” (Rev. 16:1. 17). This pouring out of God’s wrath is heavy stuff. It is the destruction of the world system, including the Battle of Armageddon (v. 16). This is major end time misery for mankind and runs parallel with the outpouring of God’s Spirit upon His chosen ones.
The Former and Latter Rains
The pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost partially fulfilled the prophecy spoken by Joel and it was confirmed by the apostle Peter. We have seen that the Spirit was poured on “all flesh” that were prepared for this happening. It did not fall on everyone in Jerusalem that day.
This partial outpouring of the Spirit has been called the “former rain.” The Hebrew word translated “former rain” means “teacher of righteousness.” The Spirit moved them to teach this gospel throughout the Mediterranean world. Christ did promise us that the Spirit “shall be in you” (John 14: 17). He also promised that the Holy Spirit “shall teach you all things…” (John 14: 26). Furthermore, the Spirit “will guide you into all truth” (John 16: 13).
The Holy Spirit, teaching righteousness through the apostles, was that former rain. This has gone on for the past 2000 years. You and I know Christ because of the early apostles’ work. The beauty of this event is captured in the poetry of Hosea:
“Then shall we know, if we follow on to know Yahweh: His going forth is prepared as the morning; And He shall come unto us as the rain, As the latter and the former rain unto the earth” (6:3).
He shall come to us as the former rain, as the teachings of righteousness. He is pouring His Spirit over our minds and hearts, and it will teach us and prepare us for the latter rain. The latter rain will fall on us at or near the “time of the end.” It will fall upon those who are prepared to bear 100-fold spiritual growth (Matt. 13:3-9; 18-23).
For the righteousness shared by the “former rain” apostles will engender growth in us to be sustained in these latter days. For they spoke of our time, the time when our exiled King returns to this earth to establish righteousness and peace and judgment in the earth. Brothers and sisters, that’s what we’re working for. We do not believe anything into existence. We just believe what Christ believes.
The latter rain will fall through the teaching of apostles and prophets that God is raising up. They will teach righteousness and the truth about our King. They will raise up many princes and princesses and Yahweh will wipe the slate of the earth clean. It is all there in the book, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, our King.
This shows that God pours from His mind His plan according to the record in heaven. He pours forth out of his Spirit, what we would call the “good” and the “bad.” We need only think about Pentecost and Him pouring out the vials of wrath. Yahweh spoke in the dream: “I will pour My Spirit upon all flesh. UPON ALL FLESH!” We see that these words are not only precious promises of personal spiritual growth, but also a dire warning of His displeasure and a subsequent cleansing of evil from the earth. [Share with us your thoughts about these things in the comments.] Kenneth Wayne Hancock