Preparing for the Latter Rain, Part I
is the latter rain that provides the power to give the final warning to the
world during the time of the Sunday laws and Satan’s impersonation of
Christ.These will be the crowning trial
and final test, which are soon to break upon us.
the disciples were to face their crowning trial and final test, Jesus offered
this prayer in their behalf: “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your
name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one.”“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is
truth.”John 17:11, 17, NIV.
Even with the
crisis of His trial and crucifixion just a few hours away, the thought
uppermost in the mind of Jesus was the unity of His disciples.It was the central theme of His prayer.Then He prayed for all believers.“My prayer is . . . for those who
will believe in me . . . that all of them may be one, Father, just as
you are in me and I am in you . . . that they may be one as we are
one. . . .May they be brought
to complete unity . . . .”John 17:20–23, NIV.
Jesus was praying for us.Today, as our
crowning trial and final test are just before us, Jesus is praying for us.And what is the burden of His prayer?It is for His family on earth to be in
unity that parallels His relationship with the Father.
three years of ministry on this earth to help the fallen human race reach this
high standard of purity and unity that we might be restored into the presence
of the Father.
In this series of articles, we will study
five major events in the ministry of Jesus that reveal the trials and attitudes
of the children of Israel
and their relationship to Jesus and the truths He taught.How did they respond to the work of Jesus to
bring them into unity with the Father?We will find that there is a parallel to each of these five events in
the second advent movement today.These five parallels provide us with an
overview of how God sees the whole second advent
movement.Our study of these events and
the reactions of the people will help us better understand our present
condition as God sees it.These studies
will reveal what we need to do to receive the latter rain and be prepared for
our crowning trial and final test.
The first event we will examine is found in
John 2:11–25.The time is the first Passover of Jesus’
ministry.The place is the temple in Jerusalem.John explains
a most surprising and unprecedented event that took place during this Passover.
“In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others
sitting at tables exchanging money.So
he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and
cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their
tables.To those who sold doves he said,
‘Get these out of here!How dare you
turn my Father’s house into a market!’ ”John2:14–16, NIV.
To help us
keep these five parallels in their order, I am going to use an Advent Time
Line.The first event is the first
cleansing of the temple.We will
identify it as “1F” under the Passover of 28 a.d.
Purpose of the Cleansing
Why did Jesus interrupt the largest, most
sacred and important religious meeting of the Jewish church?What was His purpose?“In the cleansing of the temple, Jesus was
announcing His mission as the Messiah, and entering upon His work. . . .In cleansing the temple from the world’s
buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the
defilement of sin,—from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil
habits, that corrupt the soul.”The Desire of Ages, 161.
And then we
find this interesting application of Malachi 3:1–3 to the first cleansing of the temple.“ ‘The
Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, . . . and who shall
stand when He appeareth?for He is like a
refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and
purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as
gold and silver.’Malachi 3:1–3.”Ibid.
In cleansing the
temple, Jesus did three things.
1Christ announced His mission as the Messiah.
2He entered upon His work for the next three years.
3He announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement
What was the reaction of the people to this
most unusual action of Jesus?We find
that three general attitudes were revealed.Ellen White says of the priests and rulers—the leaders of the church:“For a time they[the priests and rulers]were
convinced that Christ was a prophet; and many believed Him to be the
Messiah.The Holy Spirit flashed into
their minds the utterances of the prophets concerning Christ.Would they yield to this conviction?
would not. . . .Because
Christ discerned their thoughts they hated Him.His public rebuke was humiliating to their pride, and they were jealous
of His growing influence with the people.They determined to challenge Him . . . .”The Desire of Ages, 162.
So we see
that the attitude of the priests and rulers was to challenge Jesus.Then she writes of a large second group.“They looked with amazement on the works of
Jesus, and were convicted that in Him the prophecies concerning the Messiah were
fulfilled. . . .The people were
comparatively innocent.They were impressed
by the divine authority of Jesus; but with them the influence of the priests
and rulers was paramount.They regarded
Christ’s mission as an innovation, and questioned His right to interfere with
what was permitted by the authorities of the temple.They were offended because the traffic had
been interrupted, and they stifled the convictions of the Holy Spirit.”Ibid.,163, 164.
So we see
that the great majority of the people yielded to the will of the priests and
rulers.In contrast to these leaders and
the large group of people, she tells of a small group of faithful believers who
remained behind to talk with Jesus.
[the priests and rulers] fled, the poor remained behind; and these were now
looking to Jesus, whose countenance expressed his love and sympathy.With tears in His eyes, He said to the
trembling ones around Him: Fear not; I will deliver thee . . . .
pressed into Christ’s presence with urgent, pitiful appeals: Master, bless me.
. . .Everyone was healed from
whatever disease he had. . . .
crucifixion of Christ, those who had thus been healed did not join with the
rabble throng in crying, ‘Crucify Him, crucify
Him.’Their sympathies were with Jesus . . . .They knew Him to be their Saviour . . . .They became agents of God’s mercy, and instruments of His
this event, we find that three basic attitudes developed in response to the
work of Jesus in the first cleansing of the temple thatrepresented cleansing the heart from
1The priests and rulers rejected Christ’s work and decided to
2The majority of people were convicted that Jesus was the Messiah,
but with them the influence of the priests and rulers was paramount.
3A small group offaithful believers knew Jesus to be
their Savior and received the cleansing He offered.
Now we may ask ourselves, what event in the second advent movement is a parallel to the first cleansing
of the temple?There are two similar
statements that give us the answer.We
will consider just one of them at this point.
began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious
profanation.Almost the last act of His
ministry was to cleanse the temple again.So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are
made to the churches; the second angel’s message, and
the voice heard in heaven, ‘Come out of her, my people.’ [Revelation 18:4.]” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 2,
distinct call that Sister White mentions is the second angel’s message, which
is parallel to the first cleansing of the temple.We will consider the second distinct call in
a later parallel.When was this first
distinct call—the second angel’s message—first given?“The second angel’s message of Revelation 14 was first preached
in the summer of 1844.”The Great Controversy, 389.
“the first distinct call” at the beginning of the second
advent movement.Now that the
second angel’s message has been identified as the first cleansing of the second advent movement, and the time of its proclamation has
been identified, we will add this event to the Second Advent Time Line as “1S.”
First Angel’s Purpose
Why was there a cleansing of the second advent movement (church) at the very beginning?To understand this we first need to know the
purpose of the first angel’s message. “The first angel’s message, ‘Fear God,
and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come’ [Revelation 14:7], pointed to
Christ’s ministration in the most holy place, to the investigative judgment . .
. .”The Great
Controversy, 424. “While the investigative judgment is
going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed
from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting
away of sin, among God’s people upon earth.”Ibid.,425.
first angel’s message was a call to cleanse the heart from sin is further
emphasized by the application of Malachi 3 to this judgment hour message.“ ‘The Lord,
whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the
covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith
the Lord of hosts.’Malachi 3:1.The coming of the Lord to His temple was
sudden, unexpected, to His people. . . . ‘Who may abide the day
of His coming?And who shall stand when
He appeareth?For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall
sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi,
and purge them as gold and silver.’Malachi 3:2, 3.”Ibid.,424, 425.
There are two
points revealed here that show a parallel purpose between the first cleansing
of the temple and the opening of the second advent movement.In the first advent, Jesus announced His
mission to purify the heart from sin.In
the second advent, under the first angel’s message, there is a special work of
purification and putting away of sin.Ellen White applies Malachi 3:1–3 to both advent movements.In The Desire of Ages, 161, she uses this text
in reference to Jesus coming to cleanse the temple. In TheGreat
Controversy, 425, she uses it in reference to Jesus coming to cleanse
the heavenly sanctuary.
Now let’s look at the attitudes of the
people toward the first angel’s message that resulted in the need for the
second angel’s message.We will again
look at three groups of people.
group to be considered will be the ministers and religious leaders. “But as
ministers and religious leaders decided against the advent doctrine and desired
to suppress all agitation of the subject, they not only opposed it from the
pulpit, but denied their members the privilege of attending preaching upon the second advent, or even of speaking of their hope in the
social meetings of the church.”The Great Controversy, 376.
So we see
that in the first cleansing of the churches in the second
advent movement, the ministers and leaders opposed and rejected the
message.In the next reference we see
the attitudes of a second and by far the larger group of people. “Multitudes,
trusting implicitly to their pastors, refused to listen to the warning; and
others, though convinced of the truth, dared not confess it, lest they should
be ‘put out of the synagogue.’[John 12:42.]The message which God had sent for the
testing and purification of the church revealed all too surely how great was
the number who had set their affections on this world rather than upon
So we see
that in this cleansing the great majority of the people followed the leading of
the ministers as they did in the first advent movement.The third group of people
are the faithful believers.Their
attitude is seen in the following statement: “They loved their churches and
were loath to separate from them; but as they saw the testimony of God’s word
suppressed and their right to investigate the prophecies denied they felt that
loyalty to God forbade them to submit. Those who sought to shut out the
testimony of God’s word they could not regard as constituting the church of Christ, ‘the pillar and ground of the truth.’ [1 Timothy3:15.]”Ibid., 376.
these attitudes, we find that ministers and leaders decided against the advent
doctrine and opposed it and that multitudes trusted the ministers and refused
to listen to the warning.The faithful
believers felt that loyalty to God forbade them to submit to the ministers and
could not regard those who tried to shut out God’s word as constituting the church of Christ.
So we see
that these cleansings of the church in the first and second
advent movements are parallel, even to the attitudes of the people
involved.Very few were willing to be
purified from sin and come into unity as Jesus is with the Father.
A Cleansing Message
“The first angel’s message . . . was
designed to separate the professed people of God from the corrupting influences
of the world. . . .In this message, God
has sent to the church a warning, which, had it been accepted, would have corrected
the evils that were shutting them away from Him.”Ibid.,379.
of the first angel’s message was to remove sin from among the people of
God.Just as Jesus cleansed the temple
at the beginning of His ministry to announce His mission to cleanse the heart
from sin, so the first angel’s message was to cleanse the second
advent church from sin at the beginning of the second advent movement.
received the message . . . the Spirit and power of God would have been
manifested among them.The church would
again have reached that blessed state of unity, faith, and love which existed
in apostolic days, when the believers ‘were of one heart and of one soul’ [Acts
] . . . .”Ibid.
of the first angel’s message was to purify a people to receive the latter rain
as the disciples purified themselves so they could receive the Holy Spirit in
the early rain on the day of Pentecost.The second advent church is still in need of
completing this work of putting away sin and coming into unity with Christ 159 years after 1844.We have been wandering in the wilderness four
times longer than Israel did on their way to the promised
professed people would receive the light as it shines upon them from His word,
they would reach that unity for which Christ prayed, that which the apostle
describes, ‘the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ [Ephesians 4:3.]”Ibid.
presented the condition on which our eternal destiny rests.Will we receive the light of God shining from
His word that calls for a unity like that of the disciples on the day of
the warning of the first angel [Revelation 14:6,
7], they rejected the means which Heaven
had provided for their restoration.They
spurned the gracious messenger that would have corrected the evils whichseparated them
from God, and with greater eagerness they turned to seek the friendship of the
It was the
rejection of the first angel’s message to put away sin and purify the heart
that called forth the second angel’s message—the first cleansing of the second
advent movement—in the summer and fall of 1844.
In our next
article we will study the second parallel in our series of five.
To be continued . . .
Maurice Hoppe is Director of Revelation Ministry which is dedicated to
helping people prepare for the soon coming of Jesus. His special emphasis is
the closing scenes of this earth’s history, the parallels between the first and
second advents, and the need for unity among the people of God.He may be contacted by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or at: P. O. Box 184, Days