We have come to the end of our study on “Preparing for the Latter Rain.” It is my hope that this study has drawn you closer to Christ and in love and unity with your brothers and sisters in the faith. My friends, we must not continue with a business-as-usual attitude. Let us resolve here and now that we will, by the grace and power of God, continue to make the needed changes in our characters that we may be the recipients of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain.
Shortly before the crisis in Galilee, when so many of His disciples turned away from Him, Jesus had invited the multitudes that followed Him to come to Him and find rest. Ellen White describes this gracious invitation in The Desire of Ages, in the chapter entitled “The Invitation.” Had “His disciples” heeded the counsel of Jesus and accepted His invitation, the crisis in Galilee would never have occurred. If the people of God today would follow the invitation in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy to come into unity with Christ and with our brothers and sisters in the faith, the prophecy in The Great Controversy, 608, stating that a large class will abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition, would not come to pass. The outcome rests with us. Will we heed the instruction?
In this last article of our series, we will study “The Invitation” from Jesus, Who is inviting each one of us to come and find rest in Him.
“Come to Me”
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, . . . For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28, 30, NIV.
“Tenderly he bade the toiling people, ‘Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 328.
“The rest that Christ offers depends upon conditions, but these conditions are plainly specified. They are those with which all can comply. He tells us just how His rest is to be found.
“ ‘Take My yoke upon you,’ Jesus says. . . .
“The yoke that binds to service is the law of God. The great law of love revealed in Eden, proclaimed upon Sinai, and in the new covenant written in the heart, is that which binds the human worker to the will of God.” Ibid., 329.
“Love for God, zeal for His glory, and love for fallen humanity, brought Jesus to earth to suffer and to die. This was the controlling power of His life. This principle He bids us adopt.” Ibid., 330.
“We shall understand that the value of our work does not consist in making a show and noise in the world, and in being active and zealous in our own strength. The value of our work is in proportion to the impartation of the Holy Spirit. . . .
“He who walks in the way of God’s commandments is walking in company with Christ, and in His love the heart is at rest.” Ibid., 331.
The impartation of the Holy Spirit is on the condition that we walk in the way of God’s commandments. This requires that we remove all sin from among us, that is, all variance and differences, pride of opinion, jealousy, envy, strife, etc. Then we can walk in company with Jesus.
Invitations from Heaven
I would like to share with you some invitations in the Bible that come directly from heaven. The first one is from God the Father. He sends us an invitation to be His son, His daughter—to be part of His family. This invitation comes from the highest Authority in the universe. He invites you, and He invites me.
“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ . . . To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” Revelation 21:5–7, NIV.
And Jesus, the Son of God, our elder Brother and our High Priest, invites us to come and eat of the tree of life that we might live with Him for eternity.
“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, . . . Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:12, 14, NIV.
The exalted position of those who have accepted these invitations, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, is also described: “Therefore, ‘they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ ” Revelation 7:15–17, NIV.
One final invitation to the heavenly paradise is given from the Holy Spirit and the bride. And then it says that we, too, can have the privilege and opportunity to share this invitation with others.
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” Revelation 22:17, NIV.
No one in the past, no one in the present, and no one in the future will ever receive invitations from any higher-ranking dignitaries than those just reviewed above. Nor will there be any invitations that have greater rewards with them—the removal of sin, an entrance into the Holy City, access to the tree of life, and the gift of the water of life. All these are free because Jesus has bought these for us with His own blood. Will we take up the yoke of His commandments? Will we trust Jesus to give us of His strength that we can be overcomers? All these gifts will be ours, if we will meet the conditions.
Social Meeting Testimonies
I would like to introduce you to a practice that was prominent among the early advent believers. Ellen White often wrote about social meetings. She was not referring to the church socials as we know them today. She was referring to times when the people shared their testimonies regarding their love of God and the truth. These were precious times, indeed, for those who attended the meetings.
If these messages concerning preparation for the latter rain have moved you to have a closer walk with Jesus and to be ready to receive the Holy Spirit, I invite you to share your testimony. Your faith, courage, and determination to walk with Jesus, in preparation for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain, may be just what someone else needs to hear for their encouragement.
Mrs. White wrote: “The Lord has shown me that great interest should be taken by Sabbathkeepers to keep up their meetings and make them interesting. There is great necessity of more interest and energy being manifested in this direction. All should have something to say for the Lord, for by so doing they will be blest. A book of remembrance is written of those who do not forsake the assembling of themselves together, but speak often one to another. The remnant are to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Some expect to overcome alone by the blood of the Lamb, without making any special effort of their own. I saw that God has been merciful in giving us the power of speech. He has given us a tongue, and we are accountable to Him for its use. We should glorify God with our mouth, speaking in honor of the truth and of His unbounded mercy, and overcome by the word of our testimony through the blood of the Lamb.
“We should not come together to remain silent; those only are remembered of the Lord who assemble to speak of His honor and glory and tell of His power; upon such the blessing of God will rest, and they will be refreshed.” Early Writings, 114, 115.
May God bless in your preparation for the latter rain, and may you accept His invitation to “Come.”
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 Creek, OR 97429.