“Nevertheless I tell
you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away:
for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I
will send him unto you.”“Howbeit when
he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he
shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak:
and he will show you things to come.” John 16:7, 13.
Acts of the Apostles, 38–44.
In our last study, we
learned that the preparation the disciples made to receive the Holy Spirit in
the early rain must also be completed by the people of God today.This important work of character development
and putting away all sin must be completed before an individual can receive the
Holy Spirit in the latter rain.This is
the most important work before the people of God today, for all heaven is
waiting to send the mighty angel of Revelation 18:1,
2 to join with the third angel of Revelation 14:9-12 and give the last warning call to the
world, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her
sins.”Revelation 18:4.In this study, we will review additional
instructions concerning the character preparation God requires of His people
before He will send the Holy Spirit in the latter rain.
1What two things can the individual Christian
do to prepare for the descent of the Holy Spirit?For New Testament teaching, see John 5:39; Acts 17:11;11 Corinthians 3:18; 11 Timothy 2:15.
note:“All who claim to be children of God should
seek daily to understand why they believe by searching the Scriptures for
themselves.Those who humbly study the
character of Jesus will reflect his image more and more.The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the
church is looked forward to as in the future; but it is the privilege of the
church to have it now.Seek for it, pray
for it, believe for it.We must have it, and Heaven is waiting to
bestow it.”Review and Herald, March 19, 1895.
2What is required of the people of God so
they can answer the prayer of Christ, that they might be one, as he is one with
the Father?For biblical principles, see
Galatians 5:19–21; Philippians 2:1–3; James 3:13–18; 1 Peter 2:1–3.
note:“Many fail to meet their high
responsibilities and privi-leges.
. . .Cannot we pray over this
matter more earnestly, that the Holy Spirit of God may quicken the discernment
of his people to see that by putting away envy, evil surmisings,
jealousy, they may answer the prayer of Christ, that
his disciples might be one, as he is one with the Father.Can it be that the senses of those who claim
to believe the truth are paralyzed?”Review and Herald, March 19, 1895.
3What two things do those who disagree and
engage in controversy do to Christ?For
New Testament type, see Titus 1:16; Matthew 12:30.See also 11 Timothy 2:23, 24.
note:“Do they not see that they deny Christ?Do they not understand that they scatter from
him in acting as though it was a light matter to disagree and engage in
controversy?Brother looks coldly upon
brother, minister distrusts minister.The church seems to have lost the blending attribute of love, and its
members unite no better than ropes of sand.”Review and Herald, March 19,
4What reasons are given for the selfishness,
bigotry, and self-satisfaction that exist in the church?What is the remedy for this condition?John 17:17; Matthew 23:25, 26.
note:“What is the reason of this selfishness and
bigotry?What means this
self-satisfaction, this disposition to tear down and not build up?The truth is not sanctifying the soul,
bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.Many cling to their independence, choosing
their own way, but not the way and will of God.The truth is believed in theory, but not received in the love of it, and
the soul is left as cold as an iron wedge.”Review and Herald, March 19,
5What will be the condition of those who are
sanctified by the truth?John 17:21; Colossians 2:1–3.For Old Testament type, see Jeremiah 32:39.
note:“Those who are sanctified by the truth will
be one in Christ Jesus.The cleansing
blood of the Lamb of God cements hearts together.The branches are united in the vine.”Review
and Herald, March 19, 1895.
6What can bring unity of spirit among God’s
people?Zephaniah 2:3; Ephesians 4:2; Philippians 2:1–8; Colossians 3:12; 1 Timothy 6:11.
note:“Trials are to come upon God’s people, and
the tares are to be separated from the wheat.But let not Ephraim envy Judah
any more, and Judah
will no more vex Ephraim.Kind, tender,
compassionate words will flow out from sanctified hearts and lips.It is essential that we be united, and if we
all seek the meekness and lowliness of Christ, we shall have the mind of
Christ, and there will be unity of spirit.”Review and Herald, March 19,
7How did Jesus separate the chaff from the
wheat during the crisis in Galilee?John 6:63–65.
note:“ ‘Whose fan is in His hand, and He will
throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into
the garner.’Matthew 3:12.This was one of the times of purging.By the words of truth, the chaff was being
separated from the wheat.Because they
were too vain and self-righteous to receive reproof, too world-loving to accept
a life of humility, many turned away from Jesus.”The Desire of Ages, 392.
8How do many respond today when truth is
brought home to the heart?For New
Testament type, see John 6:60, 61, 66.
note:“Many are still doing the same thing.Souls are tested today as were those
disciples in the synagogue at Capernaum.When truth is brought home to the heart, they
see that their lives are not in accordance with the will of God.They see the need of an entire change in
themselves; but they are not willing to take up the self-denying work.”The Desire of Ages, 392.
9What three questions does the Lord ask His
people as they make preparation to receive the latter rain? See Acts 3:19-24; Revelation 3:5.
note:“The latter rain is to fall upon the people
of God.A mighty angel is to come down
from heaven, and the whole earth is to be lighted with his glory [Revelation 18:1].
“Are we ready to take
part in the glorious work of the third angel?
“Are our vessels ready
to receive the heavenly dew?
“Have we defilement and
sin in the heart?”Review and Herald, April 21, 1891.
10What will never come to hearts filled with
impurity?For New Testament instruction,
see Acts ; ; Romans 8:5–9; 1 Corinthians
note:If we have defilement and sin in the heart,
“Let us cleanse the soul temple, and prepare for the showers of the latter
rain.The refreshing from the presence
of the Lord will never come to hearts filled with impurity.May God help us to die to self, that Christ,
the hope of glory, may be formed within!”Review and Herald, April 21,
11What symbolic representation is given in the
Revelation concerning the saints’ preparation for the latter rain?Revelation 7:14; Hebrews 9:14; 1 John 1:7.
note:“ ‘As the hart panteth
after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after
thee, O God.’[Psalm 42:1.]The day of judgment
is upon us.O that we may wash our robes
of character, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb![Revelation 7:14.]”Review
and Herald, April 21, 1891.
comment:May the following be the earnest prayer of
each one of us: “God help us to . . . wash our robes of character,
and make them white in the blood of the Lamb!”Ibid.
“These are they which
came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white
in the blood of the Lamb.”Revelation 7:14.
12What are the people of God instructed to do
that they may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of the
Lord?Acts .See also
Romans 6:6; 1 John 3:2, 3.
note:“The third angel’s message is swelling into a
loud cry, and you must not feel at liberty to neglect the present duty, and
still entertain the idea that at some future time you will be the recipients of
great blessing, when without any effort on your part a wonderful revival will
take place. . . .
“Today you are to give
yourself to God, that you may be emptied of self, emptied of envy, jealousy,
evil-surmising, strife, everything that shall be dishonoring to God.
. . .
“It is our work today
to yield our souls to Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing
from the presence of the Lord—fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.”Review
and Herald, March 22, 1892.
13What must the people of God do today that the
disciples did to prepare for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the early
rain?For biblical principles, see John 17:20–23; Ephesians 6:18; James 5:16.
note:“It was by the confession and forsaking of
sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early
disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of
Pentecost.”Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers,
“Now, while our great
High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in
Christ.”The Great Controversy, 623.
14What is the work of preparation for the latter
rain that God requires of His people today?Revelation 3:18–22; , last part, 14.
note:“The same work, only in greater degree, must
be done now.Then the human agent had
only to ask for the blessing, and wait for the Lord to perfect the work
concerning him.It is God who began the
work, and He will finish His work, making man complete in Jesus Christ.”Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 507.
15What is promised and will come when Christians
put away all dissension, and give themselves to God for the saving of the lost?For New Testament type, see Acts 2:1–4; .
note:“Notice that it was after the disciples had
come into perfect unity, when they were no longer striving for the highest
place, that the Spirit was poured out.They were of one accord.All differences
had been put away.And the testimony
borne of them after the Spirit had been given is the same.Mark the word:‘The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.’Acts .The Spirit of Him who died that
sinners might live animated the entire congregation of believers.”Testimonies, vol. 8,
16What alone is of worth in the final
preparation for the latter rain?For
biblical principles and examples, see Titus 3:2,last part; Philippians 2:5–8; Ruth 1:15–18.
note:“When the Spirit of God, with its marvelous
awakening power, touches the soul, it abases human pride.Worldly pleasure and position and power are
seen to be worthless.‘Imaginations, and
every high thing that exalteth itself against the
knowledge of God’ are cast down; every thought is brought into captivity ‘to
the obedience of Christ.’11 Corinthians 10:5.Then humility and self-sacrificing love, so
little valued among men, are exalted as alone of worth.”The Desire of Ages, 135.