Being that we are not huge fans of rainy days unless we can stay home cuddled under blankets, sipping cocoa by a fire, we have never been more excited about prophetic rain! That is because we are not talking about drops of water coming down from clouds…we are talking about the Living Water coming down from heaven! Christ’s prophetic first and second coming are declared in Hosea 6:3 (NKJV)
Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth.
Rain comes in two seasons — in spring and autumn — former and latter respectively. Do you see the promise? The Lord is coming to us like the rain, twice — two comings or visitations as some say!
From an agriculture perspective, these rainy seasons produce specific harvests and these specific harvests have been appointed by the LORD. There are 7 appointed feasts of the LORD that were given to the Israelites in Leviticus 23, which we will break down in more detail later. However, these feasts are perfectly patterned to align with the spring and autumn rains with which there comes different harvests.
We will blog through the life, death and resurrection of Christ during His first coming to see how He perfectly fulfilled the first 3 spring feasts. The 4th and middle feast falls late spring right before summer – the last rain till autumn – fulfilled at Pentecost with the promised sending of the Holy Spirit. Now, we await Christ’s return to fulfill the remaining 3 autumn feasts, that is the autumn rain.
We know the latter and former rain is referring to Christ’s comings by understanding the following scripture:
Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you— The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.
Joel 2:23 (NKJV)
The phrase “former rain faithfully” bolded above is a Jewish idiom. An idiom (noun), is defined by Webster dictionary, as an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but that has a separate meaning of its own. For example, the idiom “raining cats and dogs” does not mean cats and dogs are falling from the sky. Rather, it is meant to be understood that it is raining heavily. Therefore, the idiom “former rain faithfully” better translates to be understood as “teacher for righteousness,” which is actually footnoted in some Bibles. There is only one Teacher for Righteousness and that is Jesus, Amen!
Wherever you read scripture that mentions the former and latter rain, it is accompanied by a call to repentance. Why? Because that is what God requires of true believers. Repentance is our way of proclaiming God’s grace; and it is His grace that saves us.
But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart;
They have revolted and departed.
They do not say in their heart,
“Let us now fear the Lord our God,
Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season.
He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”
Jeremiah 5:23-24 (NKJV)
What is your heart’s condition today? We have recently felt a strong conviction and need for daily repentance in our personal lives, to deepen our relationship with the Lord. Our hope is that you too will feel a sense to ready your hearts. Today and every day is the day to repent and make ourselves ready as the bride of Christ. Like any marriage, you cannot prepare just for the wedding, you must prepare for the marriage which is a relationship that lasts far beyond the events of the wedding day. If you are married, you know the preparations that go into planning a wedding and the intentional investment it takes to cultivate a marriage. Let us, therefore, approach our relationship with the Lord with the same excitement and readiness to be with Him.
– John and Jenn