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Title:Early and Latter Rain Theology Refuted
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Body:"Early and Latter Rain" Theology Refuted

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The Bible guarantees it? No! Latter Rain theology refuted

"Forget the Bible... God told me the Rapture date directly!"

Rapture date setters believe God whispered it in their ear. When they say, "The Bible guarantees it" they really mean that they saw a pattern of numbers in the Bible (numerology) and they got a feeling in their heart that they wrongly assumed was the voice of God. Date setters lie when they claim the Bible reveals the date. Anyone who claims God revealed things to them that no one else had previously believed is an agent of Satan.

The signs of Matthew 24 prophecies the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD not the second coming and certainly not some "Rapture" theology that was invented in 1830 AD by John Darby. When Christians saw the signs, they fled the city and were saved.

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"Early and Latter Rain" Theology Refuted

Introduction:

1. Latter Rain theology is based upon Joel 2:23 and James 5:7. A simple reading shows that there is no metaphor intended in either use of early and latter rain. It is simple literal season rains to bring physical blessings of food.

a. "So rejoice, O sons of Zion, And be glad in the Lord your God; For He has given you the early rain for your vindication. And He has poured down for you the rain, the early and latter rain as before. The threshing floors will be full of grain, And the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil. "Then I will make up to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. "You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame. " (Joel 2:23-26)

b. "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. " (James 5:7)

2. Charismatics, Pentecostals and anyone who believes in the false doctrine of 20th century tongues, believe in another false doctrine known as "Latter Rain".

3. The idea is that the "early rain" was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of Pentecost and the "latter rain" is the supposed outpouring of the Holy Spirit that began in 1906 AD with the Azusa Street Mission which gave birth to the modern charismatic movement and "Full Gospel" type churches. Of course Latter Rain promoters argue over when the Latter rains began and with their numerology, some teach the latter rain began in 1948 when Israel became a nation. (how convenient again.)

4. While Joel 2:28ff clearly prophecies the outpouring on Pentecost in Acts 2, the theology of "latter rain" is speculative and without any Bible support.

A. "Latter Rain" violates "Sola-Scriptura"

1. Sola-Scriptura means "using the Bible only as an absolute sole pattern for doctrine and moral conduct."

2. Using the Bible only is essential to a truthful foundation in correct Bible doctrine.

3. We recommend you visit our Sola-Scriptura website for much more detail.

4. Your church does not believe in using the Bible only if:

a. your church has a creed, catechism or statement of faith

b. your church practices tongues and "slain in the spirit"

c. your preacher claims God talks and communicates with him.

d. your church is Calvinistic and teaches the Holy Spirit must communicate directly to you and independent from the Bible in order to "let you know you are elect." This is called "Irresistible grace"

e. your church uses ecclesiastical tradition that is not found in the Bible

5. Four types of inspiration from the Holy Spirit that complete with the Bible:

a. Ecclesiastically Illuminated, Traditionalist, Creedalists: Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches maintain that the scriptures can only be interpreted in light of what the current church organization proclaims. The scriptures are not understandable by the common man in the pew and that the Holy Spirit communicates with the organization to correctly understand truth. Extra-Biblical, oral tradition doctrines are seen as equal to scripture itself. These churches are heavy users of creeds. In buffet style, they pick and choose which doctrines of the apostolic fathers they feel are authoritative, while rejecting others.

b. Ecclesiastically Illuminated, Anti-Traditionalists, Creedalists: Jehovah's Witnesses, like Catholics believe only the leaders of the church (ie. the Governing Body who write the Watchtower magazine) can understand scripture. The common "slave class" Jehovah's Witness (the ones who knock on your door) cannot understand scripture themselves apart from what the Watchtower says. Like Catholics, they believe the Holy Spirit guides the organization to understand the Bible. Yet unlike the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, Jehovah's Witnesses generally reject all traditions and creeds as false doctrine. While Jehovah's Witnesses reject the historic creeds, the Watchtower magazine itself, is their creed, which is updated on a weekly basis, as the Holy Spirit brings "new light" to a blind people.

c. Ecclesiastically & Inward Witness Illuminated, Creedalists: Most Protestant churches (Baptist, Reformed, Pentecostal, Calvinist, Presbyterian) believe the Bible cannot be understood without the direct illumination of the Holy Spirit to guide the individual to the correct interpretation. Yet, like Catholics, they also believe the Holy Spirit guides the corporate church to correct understanding of truth. All these churches heavily endorse the use of creeds, both historic and modern which they believe to be "functionally equivalent" to scripture. Some say their creeds are revelations of the Holy Spirit, while others would deny this, yet all believe creeds are an acid test of orthodoxy. We call these churches "pseudo sola Scriptura" organizations because although they claim to use the Bible only, they certainly do not in practice since they use creeds, believe the Bible is not understandable apart from the illumination of the Holy Spirit, both in the individual and the corporate church.

d. Inward Witness Anti-Creedalists: Although the views of Sebastian Franck, 1499 - 1542 AD, did not endure, he is an interesting example of a man who saw the flaws of Protestant churches. Initially a Lutheran pastor, he rejected all creeds, councils and traditions, and taught that God communicates with individuals without the help of human institutions through the personal illumination of the Holy Spirit. Franck said the Bible "is a book sealed with seven seals which none can open unless he has the key of David, which is the illumination of the Spirit." ... "Foolish Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, Gregory-of whom not one even knew the Lord, so help me God, nor was sent by God to teach. Rather, they were all apostles of Antichrist." (Sebastian Franck, 1530 AD) Frank also rejected the almost universally held idea that the corporate church was guided by the Holy Spirit. We observe that had Franck eliminated the final evil (illumination of the Spirit) he would have been one of the first to restore the true sola Scriptura of the early church and the apostolic fathers.

B. Early and Latter rain is always just RAIN

1. Clearly, the context of "early and latter rain" is simple rain in every Bible passage WITHOUT EXECPTION

2. "that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. " (Deuteronomy 11:14)

3. "'They do not say in their heart, "Let us now fear the LORD our God, Who gives rain in its season, Both the autumn rain and the spring rain, Who keeps for us The appointed weeks of the harvest." " (Jeremiah 5:24)

4. "So rejoice, O sons of Zion, And be glad in the Lord your God; For He has given you the early rain for your vindication. And He has poured down for you the rain, the early and latter rain as before. The threshing floors will be full of grain, And the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil. "Then I will make up to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. "You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame. " (Joel 2:23-26)

5. "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. " (James 5:7)

C. Rain never equated with the power of the Holy Spirit:

1. Pentecostals are annoying because they are generally anti-intellectual and rely more on their feelings than on what the Word of God actually says OR DOESN'T SAY.

2. The Joel 2:23 "early and latter rain" statement precedes Joel 2:28 which is the primary prophecy of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. So ignoring the actual context of physical blessings enjoyed by physical Israel will be followed by spiritual blessings by spiritual Israel, the church, on the day of Pentecost.

3. Notice that in Acts 2, there is no hint that this was an outpouring of rain.

4. Nowhere in the New Testament is the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit called rain or equated with rain.

5. There are many metaphors used to describe the power the Holy Spirit gave to first century Christians through the laying on of the apostles hands: filled, poured out, fell upon, given but never rain!

6. The whole idea of rain as the power of the Holy Spirit is anti-Biblical whose origin is the fleshly minds of men who are influenced by the doctrines of demons.

D. Latter rain never equated with the second coming:

1. A parable like law is created where "the early rain comes with seed time and the latter rain comes with harvest". The concept is then applied like a parable, to the "early rain" that fell on Pentecost when the church began to plant seed in 33 A.D. and "harvest" at the second coming. Further, they connect Pentecost + one generation (40 years) with the destruction of Jerusalem of 70 AD with the early rain and the latter rains in the 40 years that precede the second coming.

2. All this is wild speculation and not found in the Bible as a direct teaching.

3. James invokes the patience of farmers expecting rain as an example to Christians who should wait patiently for the second coming: "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. " (James 5:7)

4. For Pentecostals and Rapture date setter who see patterns in everything, all the time, the simple mention of rain in the same sentence as the second coming sends them into a nervous state of wild speculation.

5. While the formula is that early rain is Pentecost and Latter rain is just before the second coming, BOTH early and latter rain are applied to the second coming.

6. Of course this rather devastating blow to their theory that only latter rain equals the second coming, goes unnoticed.

7. The problem with all this, is that nowhere in the Bible are the ideas of early and latter rains applied to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It is all pure wild speculation gone to seed!

E. Pre-tribulation Rapture date setters:

1. Almost every date setter for the rapture claimed direct communication from God.

2. Ellen G. White of the Seventh-day Adventists openly claimed inspiration when Miller's date of 1844 failed.

3. Russell who founded the Jehovah's Witnesses claimed guidance from God in "giving the children the food in due season". For the last 100 years, the Watchtower magazine is the product of a weekly miracle of inspiration where the governing body are led by God to feed the flock the world over. They have set so many dates, we can't count them all inclucing 1914, 1925, 1935, 1975.

4. Ron Weinland claimed to be prophet, apostles, Elijah and failed to predict the end of the world in 1988. He then predicted the end would come at Passover 2012 and that failed.

5. Harold Camping owned 55 radio stations and predicted the end in both 1994 and then again in May 21, 2011. He made open claims of being illuminated via the "latter rain" false doctrine. In fact he claimed God had showed him "truths" no one else on earth had ever believed.

6. Camping said, "There are many proofs and evidences which make all this an absolute fact. ... There are many supportive biblical evidences and proofs for Judgment Day beginning and the Rapture on May 21, 2011 and the End of the World on October 21, 2011. .... From this foundational calendar and our God-ordained growth in biblical knowledge over the last 22 years or so, it became more and more clear that 2011 would be the end of the world, and that May 21, 2011 would begin Judgment Day. Then to confirm and prove that our understanding was correct as of just a few years ago, God began to reveal proofs."

7. Notice that the ideas camping has are very recent and revealed to him alone through God.

8. Camping websites are infested with "Early and Latter day" theology. He is a heretic and a false teacher.

Conclusion:

1. Rapture date setters all claim special revelation in one form or another. Some claim to be apostles and prophets, others claim to be illuminated by "latter rain", others claim God whispers in their ear, but none of them can find any support for their ideas in the Bible.

2. Never in the Bible is rain equated with the power of the Holy Spirit.

3. While early rain is supposed to be the filling at Pentecost and late rain is supposed to precede the second coming, James applies BOTH the early and late rain to the second coming. (using their own logic). Actually James makes no such connection of rain and the second coming. James merely asks the Christians to be patient like a farmer, a metaphor also used in 2 Timothy 2:6.

4. Tongues ceased in the first century. Those who claim to have supernatural power today never say or do anything miraculous. They claim the miraculous without any actual convincing demonstration of power. Paul called this deception.

Steve Rudd

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