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The Holy Spirit Raining Last Days Revival

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 The Holy Spirit Raining Last Days Revival

After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his robe was as white as snow. 4 The guards were so shaken from fear of him that they became like dead men. 5 But the angel told the women, "Don't be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. (Mt 28:1-6 - Holman)

 

We celebrate Easter because Jesus rose from the dead – our Lord defeated death!

Death could not keep our Savior in the ground.  He arose!  PTL!

We are no longer in bondage to sin and death, but alive in Christ (Rom 6:11)

Jesus’ death, burial & resurrection brings freedom from the bonds of sin! (Rom 6:18; Gal 5:1).

Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, we have eternal life

Because Jesus arose and ascended, we are filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38)! 

Note this important comment that Jesus says about the Holy Spirit before He ascended into heaven:

John 16:7: “But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (NIV)

Jesus rose from the dead, and then ascended to His Father, paving the way under the New Covenant for Holy Spirit to reside in our hearts. 

Every true, born again believer is promised the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

Both in the Old and New Testaments talk about God pouring His Spirit out among His people (cf. Prov 1:23; Is 32:15; 44:3-5; Joel 2:28; Zech 12:10; Acts 2:17-18).

For example, Acts 2:17 states: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” (cf. Joel 2:28)

Today, I want us to look at the fruit we bear as a result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Pictures of the Holy Spirit in Scriptures are: water, oil, wind, fire, dove and a seal. 

I want to present a picture of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit = “rain” of the Holy Spirit.

Example: Life in desert – seems dry and dead; but then it rains, and there are beautiful flowers.

As Christians, being filled with the Holy Spirit is a continuous process, and it produces beautiful fruit in our lives.

Story: I recently watched western: hero was left stranded desert by bad guy, who said, “Let the desert kill him.”  He walked … and if some natives did not rescue him, he would have died.

Being in a situation without water in the desert for after a couple of days is life threatening - it can kill.

Likewise, without God’s Holy Spirit functioning in our lives, we are dead spiritually.

The raining of the Holy Spirit brings us life!

Spiritually, what quenches your thirst?  Are you thirsty for the Holy Spirit in your life?

Background: Rain in the Bible - Rain in due season demonstrates God’s provision (Ps 147:8; cf. Is 55:10) and the promise of His prosperity (Lev 26:4; Job 5:10; cf. Jas 5:18).

Rain was more than a simple force of nature = a sign of God’s blessing that’s usually understood as a reward for covenant obedience (i.e. Hos 6:3; Job 29:23, 37:22, Jer 5:24, Ps 72:6, 84:6, Prov 25:23).

In Palestine, there are no large rivers, and the people have to depend entirely on the fall of rain for water for themselves, their animals and their fields.

Like Thailand, in the summer months, there is no rain, so that the rains of the spring and fall seasons are absolutely essential for starting and maturing the crops, otherwise, there is a failure of the harvest.

The rainy season in Palestine from October to May can be divided into three parts:

1) the former rains,

2) the winter rains, and

3) the latter rains

The "former rains" are the showers of October and the first part of November.

They soften the parched ground so that the winter grain may be sown before the heavy continuous rains set in.

The main bulk of the rain falls in the winter months of December, January and February.

The "latter rains" of April are the most highly appreciated, because they ripen the fruit and stay the drought of summer.

In God’s Word, and even today, rains have to do with harvest

When it rains, a farmer is able to gather harvest (cf. Deut 11:13-14).

When we receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as believers, it is always focused on the harvest.

The Holy Spirit comes into our lives and we then are witnesses for God’s kingdom.

Listen to Acts 1:1-2, 8: 1 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NIV)

God pouring out His Spirit at Pentecost =  former rain - to prepare the ground.

This outpouring at Pentecost softened the ground for the Gospel seed to be sown.

Spirit-filled sowers were sent out from the Upper Room that day into all the world - to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and eventually the uttermost parts of the earth to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

At Pentecost, 3,000 people were saved in one day - and souls were added daily afterward!

These believers then were sent out into all the world to witness Christ to the lost.

Therefore, a result of the coming of the Holy Spirit was that God’s people would be witnesses.

If a revival is not focused on the harvest, it is lacking and will not last, because it is not a true movement of God - no matter what kind of manifestations we may see in a so-called revival.

The Holy Spirit rains always fall to produce eternal fruit: an ingathering of souls.

Isaiah 32:15 reads: “ … Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high, And the wilderness becomes a fertile field, And the fertile field is considered as a forest.” (NAS)

Isaiah is saying here, "When the Holy Spirit comes, He produces fruit for the harvest. Lost souls are won in abundance!"

The church has now seen almost 2,000 years of sowing, growing and harvest - and we are now in this time for the last of the harvest! – The gathering of the stragglers!

The Lord has been waiting patiently for His final gathering of the harvest of the earth (cf. Zech 2:10)!

James 5:7 states: “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.” (NIV)

We want our Lord to return, but we must be patient.

Jesus has not yet come because we are in this final time of harvest.

We must have the compassion of Jesus for the remaining harvest; and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit will result in a hunger and a sincere compassion to reach a lost and dying world!   

Jesus spoke of His concern for the harvest of lost souls when He said in Matthew 9:38: “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (NIV)

Any true outpouring of the Holy Spirit will bear fruit from this prayer of Jesus.

And … there is no true revival without great ingathering of lost souls!

Revival goes hand in hand with a harvest.  You will not have one without the other!

When the Holy Spirit comes to convicts us, comforts us, teaches us, sanctifies us, leads us in truth and shows us things to come, it is all meant to prepare us to gather in the harvest - to make us able laborers in His vineyard!

And … to help us to prepare and gather in the harvest, God is pouring out a spirit of grace and supplication, as we read in Zechariah 12:10:

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (NIV)

This a prophecy speaks of the house of David, which means the church – it is spoken directly to the church of Jesus Christ.

Christ is the seed of David's house.  All nationalities are made one in Him (cf. Gal 3:28-29).

And as Christ’s bride, we have the promise of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives! 

Whenever the Spirit is poured out, these two things are always evident:

1) A spirit of grace  = undeserved favor; steadfast love; kindness; goodness; action from a   superior to an inferior

2) A spirit of supplication = prayer for favor; request for kindness; pleading for mercy

Titus 2:11-13 tells us that grace is given to us as power over sin, to enable us to live sober, holy lives.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope-- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ …”) (NIV)

There has been a marvelous measure of this grace in God's people ever since Pentecost.

The Holy Spirit is sent to gather in the harvest.

The Holy Spirit has also been given for the conviction of sin on people of all nations (Jn 16:8).

The Holy Spirit teaches believers of every race and tongue how to forsake ungodliness and worldly lusts (Tit 2:12).

This is a convicting spirit of grace that leads to repentance, producing godliness and righteousness in God's house.

The outpouring rain of the Holy Spirit exposes all unrighteousness, ungodliness and foolishness in our lives. 

The result being - a people who live soberly and righteously in this present world and who long for the coming of Jesus.

“When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment.” (John 16:8)

A concern for the lost and a repentance of sin demonstrates a genuine revival!

I believe that Zechariah 12:10 is saying that in the very last hour, the Holy Spirit will fall mightily on God's people with a spirit of grace that turns them completely from all worldliness.

It will produce in us a cry for purity of heart and convict us of every hidden thing in our lives.

True Story: A man was leading in a certain ministry. This man and other leaders of this ministry had been gathering to seek the Lord - and soon the Holy Spirit began exposing homosexuals and lying spirits in their midst. Several team members were dismissed. This brother said, "Now that the Holy Spirit has come down, there is a pressure to do right."

This following is true: when the Holy Spirit exposes sin in peoples’ hearts and lives, Christians who have been lukewarm or in compromise become convicted of their sins.

Those who don't yield to the Spirit's dealings ultimately become blind, unwilling to surrender.

And, eventually, the pressure to live righteously drives them out the door (cf. Lk 8:4f).

In this day, God is calling His people to abandon and repent of our sins and to do right!

We will wake up to the fact that even with all our money, brains, programs, ministries and plans – in our control – we have yet to make a lasting impact on this world in the way God desires.

God will not dwell with a hard, unrepentant people.

In many areas, the church has become weak and pitiful!  God is not in the midst!

The situation is like Malachi, who speaks of God's people as "... covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out..." (Malachi 2:13).

But God did not hear or receive their cries.

Why?  Because the men of Israel were dealing treacherously with their wives. They were divorcing them and pursuing other women (Malachi 2:14).

These people didn't come before the Lord with a flag of surrender in hand, weeping and crying, "Oh God, my sin has overwhelmed me! I'm tired of fighting it on my own, tired of resisting the Holy Spirit. Deliver me!"

If they had done this, God would have heard them and delivered them.

There has to be a surrender in our lives!

Zechariah 12:10 also speaks about a Spirit of Supplication

Our cries of supplication must be accompanied by a willingness to surrender our sin - to give up everything in our life that is unlike Jesus Christ.

Illustration: Picture a battle-weary soldier, ragged and worn, tired and overwhelmed, stuck in a foxhole of self-will. He is all alone, weary and haggard, and he has come to the end of himself. So he breaks a branch off a tree. He ties his white undershirt to the end, lifts it, waves it and crawls out of his foxhole, crying, "I surrender - I give up!"

That is the word picture the Hebrew language gives of true supplication!

It says, "I surrender - I can't fight this battle anymore. I'm lost and despairing."

You see, supplication is not just calling on God to do what you want.

Nor is it begging or pleading with Him to assist you in your plans.

On the contrary, it is a total giving up of your will and your way!

This is a cry of surrender - of absolute helplessness! – A crying out for total mercy from God.

It is acknowledging that we're helpless, hopeless, and that through our sins, we have rejected  and hurt God.

And now we appeal to His mercy. We surrender and will give it all over to Him, asking Him to hear our supplications.

God dwells with His people who are humble and seek Him with all their heart.

Among those who are humbly seeking God, there are awakenings/revivals occurring around the world.  

Our prayers should be tied to the last harvest.

In many places throughout the world, God's people are praying with fire and fervency - weeping and crying out to God, seeking His face, dealing with sin and turning to holy living.

Prayer meetings last all day and all night.

God is doing what He promised in Zechariah 12:10.

And many believers – and groups of believers – are already experiencing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit!

Some fruits of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit: Belief, repentance, confession, transformation, a love for God’s Word, a longing to fellowship with God through prayer, a strong faith and courage, compassion for the lost, evangelism, willing to suffer for the sake of the cross, healings, casting out of demons, prophetic words, a longing of Christ’s return, people living in the presence of God 24/7 – 365 - & on.

We can’t put the work of the Holy Spirit in a box – He will manifest in many ways; but in this sermon, I am emphasizing the results of the moving of the Holy Spirit, more than all the different ways He does and is moving.

Questions:

1)  Are you experiencing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life and in your church?

2)  Do you have a measure of fire and diligence in a prayer of supplication for the raining, or outpouring of the Holy Spirit?

The desire and inclination to pray with this intensity must come from the Holy Spirit.

So, how can we make sure we are continually filled with His Holy Spirit?

The answer is in Zechariah 10:1:

"Ask the LORD for rain in the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone.” (NKJ)

God is telling us in Zechariah, "Ask, and I will give you this burden from heaven.  But you must seek it from Me!"

This verse also applies to us, in that the church of the Lord is to ask of God the blessings which it needs for its prosperity, and not to put its trust in idols, as rebellious Israel (Hos 2:7).

The exhortation to pray to Jehovah for the blessing needed to ensure prosperity, is supported in Zechariah 10:2, which alludes to the worthlessness of the trust in idols, and to the misery which idolatry with its consequences, viz., soothsaying and false prophecy, have brought upon the nation.

“For the teraphim speak iniquity, And the diviners see lying visions And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep, They are afflicted, because there is no shepherd.” (NAS)

The teraphim were house-deities and oracular deities, which were worshipped as the givers and protectors of the blessings of earthly prosperity (cf. story of Rachel, in Gen 31:19).

Along with these are mentioned, i.e., the soothsayers, who plunged the nation into misery through their vain and deceitful prophesyings.

Because Israel had trusted in teraphim and soothsayers, it would have to wander into exile, suffering oppression from their enemies.

Without the Lord, this oppression continues today!

Example: People appease spirits when they experience weird weather patterns – typhoons, earthquakes, etc.

Rather, they should remind us to seek God and pray to Him and remember that He is in control.

Be we should not only acknowledge God as Creator – which is good, but to receive on a continual basis the filling of the Holy Spirit Who resides within us.

Isn't it time we started asking the Lord, "Oh God, pour your Holy Spirit on me, that I may learn to pray? 

Open up the fountain. Let me be a part of Your final harvest of these souls who are still living oppressed lives!”

Once His spirit of supplication showers down upon you, you will find yourself praying for holiness, godliness, purity.

You will repent of those idols in your lives and replace this with a strong faith – with a pure, ongoing fellowship with your King Jesus.

You will be hungry to enter into God’s presence and experience glorious fellowship with Him.

You will anticipate the time together with fellow Christians, as you corporately enter into the throne room of God to worship and adore the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

You will intercede for your lost loved ones, your lost neighbors, and weep over this dying world.

You will no longer attend church as a religious exercise or, “Christian habit;” but you will anticipate the time each week to go and experience the living God in your midst.

A genuine move of the Holy Spirit results in a weeping, mourning, brokenness and repentance  - a reality of how our sins grieve the heart of God!

We’ll be grieved as a result of our greed, selfishness and pride.

Greed:  Riches, power, fame – the value system of the word.

Selfishness: The world revolves around “me” and my wants and desires.  – The gratifications of the flesh – idols – parties – TV & movies – trash magazines – pornography and sexual immorality.

Pride:  Not serving others; putting self above others; arrogance; lack of humility.

We need to ask: What greater gift could God give His church just before He comes than a powerful, convicting message against sin?

He will bring such piercing conviction that we will not be able to tolerate any unholy or unclean thing in us!

Our hearts will be so enflamed for God that we will rush to extinguish anything that would put out the fire.

Example: We’ll do anything to get rid of those things in our live that get in between God and us – those obstacles that hinder the presence of God in our lives.

In summary, here are the qualifications and marks of the outpouring rain of the Holy Spirit.

1. A focus on the final harvest of souls.

2. A spirit of grace leading to repentance and godliness.

3. A spirit of supplication resulting in surrender and an urgency to pray in the Spirit.

4. A yearning for Jesus, and a brokenness and weeping with godly sorrow for sin – holy living.

Only after such dealings of the Spirit will come the true blessing of joy and peace found in Jesus.

If any so-called movement of the Spirit doesn't measure up to these, you can know it is of the flesh.

It is possible to miss out on all that the Spirit has promised.

Even in the midst of His rain, you can end up in a desert - dry, withered, empty.

All you have to do is join the Laodicean crowd - to remain lukewarm and be satisfied with halfhearted service to the Lord (cf. Rev 3:14-19).

And the rain that comes to ripen the last-day harvest will only water the thorns and thistles in you:

“For ground that has drunk the rain that has often fallen on it, and that produces vegetation useful to those it is cultivated for, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and about to be cursed, and will be burned at the end.” (Hebrews 6:7-8 – Holman)

Example: How can I get the air out of this glass? By sucking it out with a pump? - No, because that would create a vacuum and shatter the glass. Rather, pour water and fill the glass, which removes all the air. Victory in the Christian life is not accomplished by “sucking out a sin here and there,” but by being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Let us not miss out on God's last outpouring!

Let’s pray together and repeat in your heart after me:  

"Lord, in my own strength, I don't have the discipline needed for Your holy work. You have to give me your strength!  Please give me Your burden and compassion for lost souls. Rain your Holy Spirit down upon me and fill me to overflowing.  Place Your weeping Spirit in me. You are my only hope - so I surrender and turn totally to You. I'll do anything You tell me. And I will depend on You for everything!  In Jesus Name, Amen!”

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