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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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Friday, August 16, 2013

The Latter Rain and the Sealing

“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: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit.” (Joel 2:28,29).

In these days of a uniting economic globe that is joined in the biggest Ponzi scheme ever known to humanity; in these days when the synagogue of Satan controls and manipulates the currencies of our whole planet and is about to bring the world’s masses; the question of all questions that should arise in every thinking heart and mind is this: The great day of the Lamb’s wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?

The answer to that question, found in Revelation 6:17, is found in the next verses. “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Rev. 7:2,3). The seal of God is placed in the forehead so that we cannot be moved. Then the vision sees the first trumpet cast down coals from off the altar of incense in heaven upon the people. See Revelation 8:7, 5. Those coals began the sealing process in 1844, a work that was to continue until Jesus would return in power. We can accept this as the commencement of the sealing because it was announced earlier (see Revelation 7:2,3) and then referred to later in the 5th trumpet, “And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” (Rev. 9:3,4).

But, what would this sealing do to people? How would it manifest in them?

It would give them the power to make war against the kingdom of Satan and bring it down. “And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” (Rev. 7:4).

When Israel was numbered in the wilderness it was for a specific purpose. “Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls; from twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies.” (Num. 1:2,3). These 144,000 would be enabled to fight as Jesus fought. “The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.” (Isa. 11:2-4).

When the gospel is preached to the whole world (see Matthew 24:14) there will be a reaction from the people. Satan will move the multitudes who have entertained false religion to silence the 144,000 Noahs.

  As the controversy extends into new fields and the minds of the people are called to God’s downtrodden law, Satan is astir. The power attending the message will only madden those who oppose it. The clergy will put forth almost superhuman efforts to shut away the light lest it should shine upon their flocks. By every means at their command they will endeavor to suppress the discussion of these vital questions. The church appeals to the strong arm of civil power, and, in this work, papists and Protestants unite. As the movement for Sunday enforcement becomes more bold and decided, the law will be invoked against commandment keepers. They will be threatened with fines and imprisonment, and some will be offered positions of influence, and other rewards and advantages, as inducements to renounce their faith. But their steadfast answer is: “Show us from the word of God our error”--the same plea that was made by Luther under similar circumstances. Those who are arraigned before the courts make a strong vindication of the truth, and some who hear them are led to take their stand to keep all the commandments of God. Thus light will be brought before thousands who otherwise would know nothing of these truths. The Great Controversy, p. 607.

The big war will be on and those who preached and caused the agitation must be completely sealed so that they cannot be moved by the dangers presented before them. “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Eph. 6:13). They are 144,000 prophets upon whom the Lord will be pleased to pour His Holy Spirit, and “fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies.” (Rev. 11:5).

To be sealed means to have experienced what Isaiah had. He saw the true holiness of God and conviction grabbed hold of him. “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Isa. 6:5). He stood before more than the Law, but the Law-giver Himself and his anguished cries were, “My comeliness was turned in me into corruption.” “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Dan. 10:8; Rom. 7:24). These 144,000 John the Baptists will all have “bowed low before the King of kings”; therefore they will be able to “stand erect and fearless in the presence of earthly monarchs.” The Desire of Ages, p. 103.

They will have overcome sin and its every besetment from knowing Christ. “He that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father. And I will give him the morning star.” (Rev. 2:26-28). They cannot be tempted because they refuse all temptation. Victors over self, they will have a strong message to cry out against a world worshiping self and indulging every selfish and ungodly pleasure. Those who are sealed will powerfully contrast the world’s form of godliness with the sealed ones’ real, true Christ-likeness. Their robes will be spotless their characters will “be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling.” The Great Controversy, p. 425.  They will tower over the world’s pretending religious elite; they will be giants of faith and works. The fear of true Christians will return which existed in the early days when, “though few in numbers, without wealth, position, or honorary titles, they were a terror to evildoers wherever their character and doctrines were known.” The Great Controversy, p. 46.

This can only happen when, “before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic time, and “the Spirit and power of God [is] poured out upon His children.” The Great Controversy, p. 464.

Do we want the Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit? Are we praying for it? We should pray for it and talk of it. But we should also work our prayers. God has put in us the desire for the Latter Rain. But, if that is so, then we should work out what He has put in us. If we want the abundant Latter Rain of God’s Spirit then we should seek to be sealed. The sealing happens prior to the Latter Rain, and without being sealed we can have no part in that soon coming downpour.

How do we prepare for the Latter Rain? What is our work to become part of the 144,000 fiery Elijahs and apostle Pauls? What can we do today that will result in a faith that no fears can erode, not even “tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Rom. 8:35).

The answer is in the following verse. “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” (Rom. 8:37).  The utterly essential Early Rain is our only preparation for the great battle ahead—the gospel message taken into our hearts. To seek Jesus through His word, His law and promises will bring us into right relation with Him. We will then be converted anew daily and daily receive a deepening settling trust in His friendship and His enabling power to overcome every sin that besets us.

Our path may not be strewn with the constant, solid victories that will be seen in the Latter Rain; but our relationship with Jesus and our trust in Him will be developing as an infant to its mother and father. And, as a baby grows into a toddler, and into childhood, and then into adolescence, daily feeding from its parents’ food and love, we will grow up into Christ, “no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” but into a perfect man, “unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: … speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ”, being “filled with all the fulness of God.” (Eph. 4:14,13,15;Eph 3:19).

The natural progression of sanctification by the Spirit will bring us to the sealing as Christ puts His enmity toward sin and Satan into our hearts. “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples.” (Isa. 8:16).  This Mary Magdalene did as she sat at Jesus’ feet, learning from Him, and became the great heroine of righteousness. At that early date in her sanctification “but one thing [was] needful: and Mary [had] chosen that good part” which Jesus refused to take away from her. (Lk. 10:42).

 And if we will sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him, we will soon know the original promise by experience. “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.” (Heb. 8:10).

“And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” (Ex. 19:6). An everlasting kingdom of prophets will serve Him. “And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.” (Rev. 22:4).

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