Bible Study Guides – THE PREPARATION, Part 11

October 23, 2005 – October 29, 2005

Key Text:

“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” James 5:7.

Study Help: “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1055.


“The life-work given to us is that of preparation for the life eternal, and if we accomplish this work as God has designed that we should, every temptation may work for our advance; for as we resist its allurement, we make progress in the divine life. In the heat of the conflict, while engaged in earnest spiritual warfare, unseen agencies are by our side, commissioned of heaven to aid us in our wrestlings, and in the crisis, strength and firmness and energy are imparted to us, and we have more than mortal power. But unless the human agent shall bring his will into harmony with the will of God, unless he shall forsake every idol, and overcome every wrong practice, he will never succeed in the warfare; but will be finally overcome. Those who would be conquerors must engage in conflict with unseen agencies; inward corruption must be overcome, and every thought must be brought into harmony with, and subjection to, Christ. The Holy Spirit is ever at work seeking to purify, refine, and discipline the souls of men in order that they may become fitted for the society of saints and angels, and as overcomers be able to sing the song of redemption, ascribing glory and honor to God and to the Lamb in the courts above.” Christian Education, 122, 123.

1 Why are revival and reformation so important, and what is the difference between them? Ephesians 2:1–5; 4:23. Compare John 5:21; 6:63; Romans 12:2.

note: “A revival and a reformation must take place, under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.” Review and Herald, February 25, 1902.

2 Among which class of believers is it most essential for revival to begin? Jeremiah 12:10; Acts 3:19.

note: “I tell you that there must be a thorough revival among us. There must be a converted ministry. There must be confessions, repentance, and conversions. Many who are preaching the Word need the transforming grace of Christ in their hearts. They should let nothing stand in the way of their making thorough work before it shall be forever too late.—Letter 51, 1886.” Last Day Events, 189.

3 What characteristic must God’s people demonstrate before the Holy Spirit can be poured out? Romans 6:11. Compare Romans 8:8–11.

note: “When the laborers have an abiding Christ in their own souls, when all selfishness is dead, when there is no rivalry, no strife for the supremacy, when oneness exists, when they sanctify themselves, so that love for one another is seen and felt, then the showers of the grace of the Holy Spirit will just as surely come upon them as that God’s promise will never fail in one jot or tittle. But when the work of others is discounted, that the workers may show their own superiority, they prove that their own work does not bear the signature it should. God cannot bless them.—Manuscript 24, 1896.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 175.

4 How is true conversion evidenced? Ephesians 4:32.

note: “Christianity is the revealing of the tenderest affection for one another. . . .

“Christ is to receive supreme love from the beings He has created. And He requires also that man shall cherish a sacred regard for his fellow beings. Every soul saved will be saved through love, which begins with God. True conversion is a change from selfishness to sanctified affection for God and for one another.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 114, 115.

5 What is our work today in preparation for the latter rain? 11 Chronicles 30:8; Romans 6:13.

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 have your vessel purified, that it may be ready for the heavenly dew, ready for the showers of the latter rain; for the latter rain will come, and the blessing of God will fill every soul that is purified from every defilement. 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.” Evangelism, 701, 702.

6 What should characterize our attitude toward the latter rain? Isaiah 55:6. Compare Hosea 10:12.

note: “We need not worry about the latter rain. All we have to do is to keep the vessel clean and right side up and prepared for the reception of the heavenly rain, and keep praying, ‘Let the latter rain come into my vessel. Let the light of the glorious angel which unites with the third angel shine upon me; give me a part in the work; let me sound the proclamation; let me be a colaborer with Jesus Christ.’ Thus seeking God, let me tell you, He is fitting you up all the time, giving you His grace.” The Upward Look, 283.

7 Are God’s conditions for the latter rain too high to attain? Matthew 5:48. Compare Ephesians 3:11–14.

note: “Our heavenly Father claims not at our hands that which we cannot perform. He desires His people to labor earnestly to carry out His purpose for them. They are to pray for power, expect power, and receive power, that they may grow up into the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus.

“Not all members of the church are cultivating personal piety; therefore they do not understand their personal responsibility. They do not realize that it is their privilege and duty to reach the high standard of Christian perfection. . . . Are we looking forward to the latter rain, confidently hoping for a better day, when the church shall be endued with power from on high and thus fitted for work? The latter rain will never refresh and invigorate the indolent, who do not use the powers God has given them.” In Heavenly Places, 338.

8 What provision has God made that we might attain to the perfection necessary for the latter rain? 11 Corinthians 7:1. Compare 11 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:3.

note: “The human organism is the handiwork of God. The organs employed in all the different functions of the body were made by Him. The Lord gives us food and drink, that the wants of the body may be supplied. He has given the earth different properties adapted to the growth of food for His children. He gives the sunshine and the showers, the early and the latter rain. He forms the clouds and sends the dew. All are His gifts. . . .

“But all these blessings will not restore in us His moral image unless we cooperate with Him, making painstaking effort to know ourselves, to understand how to care for the delicate human machinery. Man must diligently help to keep himself in harmony with nature’s laws. He who cooperates with God in the work of keeping this wonderful machinery in order, who consecrates all his powers to God, seeking intelligently to obey the laws of nature, stands in his God-given manhood, and is recorded in the books of heaven as a man.” In Heavenly Places, 157.

“We need to understand that individually we are in copartnership with God. ‘Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,’ He admonishes us, and adds, ‘For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure’ (Philippians 2:12, 13). Here is the cooperation of the divine with human agencies. . . .

“The former and the latter rains are needed. ‘We are labourers together with God’ (1 Corinthians 3:9). The Lord alone can give the precious former and latter rain. The clouds, the sunshine, the dews at night—these are heaven’s most precious provisions. But all these favors graciously bestowed of Heaven will prove of little worth to those who do not appropriate them by diligent, painstaking effort on their part.” This Day with God, 276.

9 What precious gift has God given His people to prepare them for the latter rain? Ephesians 4:11.

note: “We call upon you to take your stand on the Lord’s side, and act your part as a loyal subject of the kingdom. Acknowledge the gift that has been placed in the church for the guidance of God’s people in the closing days of earth’s history. From the beginning the church of God has had the gift of prophecy in her midst as a living voice to counsel, admonish, and instruct.

“We have now come to the last days of the work of the third angel’s message, when Satan will work with increasing power because he knows that his time is short. At the same time there will come to us through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, diversities of operations in the outpouring of the Spirit. This is the time of the latter rain.—Letter 230, 1908.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 83.

“In sending forth His ministers our Saviour gave gifts unto men, for through them He communicates to the world the words of eternal life. This is the means which God has ordained for the perfecting of the saints in knowledge and true holiness.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 237.

10 What insightful observation is made to help us evaluate the genuineness of our profession? Ephesians 4:31, 32.

note: “There is no virtue in your prayers to God when you get right up from your prayers and begin to speak sharp words and make yourself disagreeable in your family. When you get up from your prayers and begin to fret and to find fault with everything and with God Himself—for this has been done—your prayers don’t go any higher than your head. Shall we now have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul here where this reformation means so much? Well, that is what we want; because the latter rain is coming, and we want the vessel all cleansed from its work of impurity. We want the vessel to be a vessel unto honor, fit for the Master’s use. . . .

“There is not a quarreling man—no matter if your profession is as high as heaven—nor a quarreling woman; not one that loves to talk and berate and wound and injure the souls and reputation of God’s people, that will ever enter the portals of the city of God. Why? Because there would be a second rebellion in heaven. What we need now is to be students, to learn in the school of Christ to perfect a Christlike character.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 197, 198.

11 What is the true Christian’s highest desire? 11 Corinthians 3:18. Compare 11 Peter 1:4.

note: “God will accept nothing less than unreserved surrender. Half-hearted, sinful Christians can never enter heaven. There they would find no happiness; for they know nothing of the high, holy principles that govern the members of the royal family.

“The true Christian keeps the windows of the soul open heavenward. He lives in fellowship with Christ. His will is conformed to the will of Christ. His highest desire is to become more and more Christlike.” Review and Herald, May 16, 1907.

12 What are the credentials of those who receive the latter rain? John 13:34, 35.

note: “How broad, how full is this love. The new part of that commandment the disciples did not understand. They were to love one another as Christ had loved them. These were their credentials that Christ was formed within, the hope of glory. (Manuscript 82, 1898).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1141.

“As the members of Christ’s body approach the period of their final conflict they will grow up into him, and will possess symmetrical characters. As the message of the third angel swells to a loud cry, great power and glory will attend the closing work. It is the latter rain, which revives and strengthens the people of God to pass through the time of Jacob’s trouble referred to by the prophets. The glory of that light which attends the third angel will be reflected upon them. God will preserve his people through that time of peril.” The Signs of the Times, November 27, 1879.