Joel 2:23 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. 28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.
This passage of scripture tells us in no uncertain terms what will transpire upon the earth, just prior to the second coming of Jesus in the clouds of heaven. The latter rain, also known as the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit will be given for two main reasons, (1) To bring all of earth's inhabitants to a decision, either for Christ or for satan, through the preaching of the everlasting gospel mentioned in revelation 14:6-11, and (2) To prepare those who will be saved for the coming of the Son of Man. The second coming of Jesus is not an event to make light of, for it will bring life as we know it to a screeching halt, with eternal salvation and utter devastation to saints and sinners respectively. Let's read:
Psalms 50:3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. 4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. 5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. 6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself.
A work of unprecedented proportions must therefore take place before this cataclysmic event occurs, so that the recipients of God's grace may be fitted for heaven. This work therefore includes the putting away of sin from our lives in every shape and form, and the consequent restoration of the image of God in us. The law of God is the means whereby sin is detected, and thus it forms an integral part of the work of salvation. Without it we would not realize our dire need of the Savior, and if it is abolished in our minds, as is so commonly taught, then there is no work for the Holy Spirit to do in us, because His work is to write God's law in our hearts and minds. Let's read:
Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
The work of preparation also includes a thorough investigation and internalizing of the truths written in God's word, in order that we may be set free from sin and erroneous teachings. False doctrines, even though they may sound good and pleasing, do not set people free, only the truth does that. Let's read:
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
The truth is also what is used by the Holy Ghost to accomplish the work of sanctification, because true sanctification cannot take place while we cherish erroneous teachings and doctrines of devils, such as the natural immortality of the soul. Let's read:
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Prayer and soul-surrender is also needed on a daily basis in order that the preparation for the latter rain may be accomplished in our hearts. This is what the prophet Joel is alluding to in the following passages. Let's read:
Joel 2:12 Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
It is therefore incumbent upon every true believer to cooperate with God in the work of preparation and sanctification, so that the work that He has begun may continue uninterrupted in our daily lives. It is also our duty and privilege to seek God for the necessary strength, through the power of The Holy Spirit, that faithful war may be waged against the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, so that we may live victoriously each day. We therefore end with a passage of scripture, designed to encourage everyone to open the door of our hearts to Him without delay, for He ardently desires to complete the work of salvation in our minds. Let's read:
Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
We hope and pray that this will be our experience today and for the rest of our lives, for God is faithful to all of His promises made to save us from sin. God bless!