It is clear in the Scriptures that it was always necessary from the beginning for there to be two advents of the Messiah. There are manifold reasons for this, such as the necessity for the Messiah to be cut off for a reconciliation for iniquity; and then a good message to be delivered to those who are reconciled. (We touched on this last week in our 70 weeks video). But while Christ redeemed His people at the appointed time, He would not forget of His promised seven-times punishment which was yet ongoing and still not perfected (Lev 26:24 – those seven times being larely detailed in Daniel and Revelation for example).
Neither would Yahweh forget some of the most ultimate prophecies, such as those concerning the turning of Esau’s sword against his brother in the time of Jacob’s Trouble. This is where we are today, and this is where we bear the promise of the ultimate consummation.
So two Advents were forever necessary: and both of these predestined Advents have a distinct pouring out of the spirit promised alongside with them. In the prophets these blessings of the spirit are compared to the early and latter rain – a critical agricultural process of Israel and a metaphor which the people would have readily recognized.
The book of Joel is one of the most memorable places where the early and latter rain is promised, where it says in 2:23: Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
The early rain would feed the crops of Judea around the beginning of our November after the sowing of seed, and the latter would come towards the end of April in preparation of the harvest. In between these two rains there was a general dry period, and we can see parallels with the history of Israel when considering the planting and the harvesting and even the dry period in-between.
To elaborate on that fact, the agricultural sowing and process can be observed to symbolically represent the building up of the reconciled body of Christ, and for this reason Yahshua often compared both His mission and even the very nature of the world to a field expecting harvest.
Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. (Luke 10:2 – KJV)
This mission for those bearing the news of reconciliation to the dispersed began in earnest after Yahshua had accomplished His objectives of the first Advent, chiefly dying and therefore reconciling divorced Israel to Himself. This is why Paul of Tarsus called his ministry one of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18, Dan 9:24) To aid them in the accomplishment of this mission, the Creator had given the apostles the first “pouring out of the spirit” which was promised in Joel. It was fifty days after the Passover and therefore ten days after the Ascension which we saw the first Christian Pentecost, and there the apostles received this deposit of the spirit which Joel had referred to as the “early rain” all those years before.
Yahshua often connected the Holy Spirit with abilities for men to interpret prophecy, and it was of course through the spirit that the men of the Old Testament period were able to prophesy the words of Yahweh speaking through them (1 Samuel 16:13). The book of Joel also connected this deposit of the spirit with wondrous gifts, which Peter then quoted from after receiving his apportionment of the early rain.
As it is recorded in Acts 2:16-18: But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Paul also recognized this inheritance, but because he knew that if there is an early there of course must also be the latter, he chose to refer to it as a “deposit of the spirit”, where he wrote at 2 Cor 5:5: Now He who has been cultivating us for this same thing is Yahweh, who has been giving to us the deposits of the Spirit. (CNT). The pouring out of the spirit was not always compared with rain, as we see in places such as Isaiah 44:3, so there are of course many sources from which we could gain insight into the event.
Paul used this word deposit (ἀῤῥαβών) in the same sense as a man who would make a deposit of money or some other valuable good in expectation of receiving a greater inheritance in the future. The prophecy of Joel also recognizes that the early rain is not as great in power as the coming latter, where it said “for he hath given you the former rain moderately”
Thayer says concerning the word at #G728: 1a) money which in purchases is given as a pledge or downpayment that the full amount will subsequently be paid
So as we see in Joel, we may also expect these gifts in the future at the time of His coming in the form of the latter rain and that is what the early rain is a down payment of – and the latter rain may represent the very state of our resurrected bodies.
Conjecture aside: just as there was a long period between the literal agricultural early and latter rains in Judea, so there would be a period of waiting in between the prophetic advents. This is also worthy of notice. The wait was destined to be long – for the perfection of the seven times punishment alone would take 2,520 years forward from the Assyrian deportations to be brought to perfection. But it wouldn’t end there, for the Jacob after that would also be in trouble with his neck at the sword of Esau for a considerable time – and that is where we find ourselves today in our so-called “age of liberty”. It is the time of Jacob’s Trouble indeed.
Therefore James recognized this necessary period between the two rains, where he wrote in his epistle:
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 – KJV)
This can bring to memory the woman (symbolically Israel) waiting for her husband (symbolically Christ) in the song of Solomon (5:6), and the duty of the guests awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom in the parables of Christ.
As Christ taught in his teachings, the world is not made up of all the same plants but it also occurs strange plants, tares – who represent the descendants of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
While the apostles were healthy minded and did not ever deliver the message to such outsiders, later Christians would later become deceived in prophesied times of apostasy. This was prophesied in places such as by Christ in His parable of the nets, and in His parable of the wedding garments. Its prophetic necessity being only emphasized through other prophecies, such as the final captivity of Israel in Babylon (Micah 4, Rev-17-18) and the sowing of men with the seed of beasts around the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer 31:27). Many so-called pastors of today still seek to reel in those beasts as fish like foolish fishermen, not recognizing that we are in the time of the hunters.
We don’t want to digress on this too long, for the Scriptures concerning these things are so fast they are worthy of handfuls of videos and articles. The point which is important for our study here is that the harvest was forever destined to include both those who were heirs of the covenants, and outsiders condemned from of old who had crept in unawares. This is why Christ presents the tares growing among the wheat in anticipating of the ultimate harvest as a prelude to the coming of the Son of Man. As Christ is recorded as saying in relation to this harvest at Mat 13:28-30:
He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
We can remember that the literal early rain was at the time of planting and the latter at the time of harvest. So just as we see why the prophetic early rain is placed at the beginning of the body of Christ’s story during the planting, we can also see why the latter rain is placed at the end of the body of Christ’s story at the harvest. In the parable of this harvest we see that the tares are bounded in bundles to be burned, and this is the core reason as to why we know that the prophecy of Joel was only fulfilled partially, and still awaits a transcendental fulfillment with the coming latter rain.
Remember that Joel prophesied of both rains. In Joel a promised destruction of the cankerworms and palmerworms connected to it. These cankerworms and other allegorical labels are identified as the parasitic peoples whom Yahweh had sent to scourge Israel, both then and now, and their destruction certainly did not happen at the time of Pentecost but is still yet coming.
In Joel, speaking of the burning of the tares at 2:20: But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.
Then later on it says in regards to the wheat:
2:24-25 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
This is why the Kingdom is promised to be a place where there are no more strangers to consume and be parasitic in several prophecies (Isaiah 65:22, et al).
Speaking of these cankerworms, we see in Revelation the Camp of the Saints surrounded by an army of cankerworms and palmerworms referred to as “Gog and Magog” – and this is another angle of a prophecy which was first given in Ezekiel. These invaders are then destroyed by Yahweh with fire, just as the tares are described as being destroyed either literally or symbolically in the parable of the wheat and the tares. Gog and Magog receives a similar fate in the parallel prophecies of Ezekiel.
Yahweh gives us a significant clue that Joel 2, Ezekiel 38 & 39, and Revelation 20 are speaking of the same event, where He says in Joel: “and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up”
This is an explicit parallel to the prophecy of Gog and Magog as it is found in Ezekiel, and which is itself connected to the time of the Second Advent (and therefore the latter rain) as we see when considering its placement within Revelation.
In Ezekiel we read at 39:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.
We see the east sea and the ill smell mentioned in both prophecies. Therefore we shouldn’t be surprised to see a promise of the pouring out of the spirit given afterwards in Ezekiel, just as it was in Joel where it was speaking of the same event.
Ezekiel 39:29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
The wheat have now finally been gathered into Yahshua’s barn! This “pouring out of the spirit” is the same language Yahweh used in regards to the latter rain in Joel, where He said: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh;” [and the ‘all flesh’ here is of course defined by Ezekiel as all the flesh of the house of Israel]
We see in Ezekiel that after the wheat are gathered, it takes them seven months (either literal or prophetic) to bury the strange plants who have been threshed in the fields, where it says at 39:12: And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.
This is the very nature of threshing and it is why the harvest is related as a violent thing in other prophecies, such as where in Revelation the blood is symbolically described as reaching the bridles of the horses. The harvest at the time of the latter rain is a violent one, just as Christ had described it in His parables and through His prophets in the times which came before. This harvest of course happens in Babylon, where Yahweh promised Israel in Micah that being sent there they would receive their ultimate redemption. It is in Mystery Babylon where the angel in Revelation tells those who come out from the system after its fall to “deal back to her double”. This is the “arise and thresh” seen in Micah, and both Micah and Revelation are speaking of threshing in the same harvests seen in Joel and Ezekiel.
In Hosea we see a very subtle promise in regards to the harvest of the latter rain.
First we get a signal at 6:3: Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
And then later Yahweh says through the prophet at 6:11: Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I return the captivity of my people. [vowel points misleading – corrected as ‘return’]
When the harvest of the latter rain occurs, it is at this time that Israel is returned from her captivity, and we see in Micah and Revelation that Israel is ultimately returned from her captivity in Mystery Babylon. This is the final stop on the road to the Second Advent, and the final step in the same series of captivities which have been ongoing since the Assyrians first began taking the peoples of Israel and Judah.
This is why Yahweh explicitly connects the latter rain with a release from captivity in Hosea, for the latter rain comes to Israel while she is in Babylon (Micah 4:10) in around the time of Christ’s Second Coming (Rev 19) when the Kingdom is ushered in. It will be common knowledge the nature of this captivity and its course and its reasons and purpose and end when the day finally comes (Eze 39:24).
In Micah we read at 4:10: Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies. (these enemies are the tares of the harvest who are later threshed in the chapter)
Now these things are all well and good, but one significant question remains. Why does Yahweh give a specific promise to Judah in regards to this harvest? For this we find our answer in a latter rain prophecy found in Zechariah.
First, Yahweh gives a transcendental dating of this prophecy to the latter rain where He says at Zechariah 10:1: Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
This confirms that the following prophecies found in Zechariah certainly encapsulate a far vision (one ultimately fulfilled in later times).
Yahweh then announces that the tribe of Judah will (either symbolically or literally) lead the charge of this great harvest where He says:
Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats [chiefs]: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle. Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together. And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded. And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them. (Zechariah 10:3-6)
This is not the first time Judah is recorded as leading a charge in battle, as we see in recorded in Judges 1:1-2: Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them? And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.
This can be read as prophetic for the final destruction of the Canaanites, the final harvest, which we await: […] and in that day: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts. (Zechariah 14:21).
If the people of Israel had succeeded at driving out their enemies completely then Yahweh would have given them rest at the time of the first Joshua. Israel had the rest for a temporary time while they were obedient, but they quickly fell into disobedience and lost their rest. (Judges 2:1-3)
Of course they failed and this is a lesson for us to rely on our God for all good things, and we must turn our eyes towards the skies and wait for the second Joshua to finish where we had originally failed. It is at this time that we finally receive the rest. Joshua the son of Nun who shared the same name with our redeemer (Joshua = Yahshua) has a book titled after his name concerning his conquests of Caanan, which our Redeemer will finish at the time of His coming. It is no mistake at all that Joshua was given this name as a prophetic type for Christ as a Warrior Messiah, for Yahweh Himself had said that “my name is in Him” (Ex 23:21)
And just as Joshua and David – both types for Christ – were warriors, so is Yahshua Himself at the time of His coming.
The difference can be appointed to the fact that at the time of the early rain Christ had come to reconcile Israel to Himself. This was a distinct objective which showed us how to live a perfect life for our Creator. Christ came to serve others and be that example for us: putting Himself last He follows His own Law and has a rightful place as first in the Kingdom. The early rain was a time of planting, and to fulfill the purposes of the harvest were appointed for a far later date.
This is why Christ wasn’t a warrior during His First Advent, but in His Second He comes as a King ready to make war, just as He is described in the Revelation at 19:11-15: And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
The winepress which he is described as treading here is important, for the harvest of the wheat and tares are seen to be described as a harvest of ripe and parched grapes in the Revelation. This is an allegory which can direct the reader to the harvest of the sour grapes in Jeremiah where Yahweh had said He would “sow the seed of man with the seed of beast” and that after the destruction of His enemies “they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape (eating is a sexual allegory in Scripture), and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” (Jer 31:27,29)
With these tares and parched grapes and seed of beast present in the fields this is why again Christ had described the ultimate harvest as a time where bad fish are being reeled in – and this has all happened most distinctly in these days in Mystery Babylon. This is why Christ had warned that the time of His Second Advent would be like the days of Noah, for it was in that day that the principle sin was fornication (that same eating of sour grapes).
When the harvest takes place, the blood from the winepress of the sour grapes is described in Revelation as reaching the bridles of the horses. We have to stress that this is the same winepress as that which Christ is described as treading down in Revelation 19. Now when we consider this fact that Yahshua takes a part in the destruction of His enemies, we should not be surprised when we read this description of the Messiah in Isaiah 63-1-4:
Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. [The mention of Edom here can be cross-referenced to the ultimate destruction Edomites prophesied in Obadiah.]
The garments of Christ are described both here and in revelation as being red with blood from the treading the winefat, which is itself that same harvest of Joel, Ezekiel, Hosea, and Zechariah. With these prophecies of a warrior messiah we can perfectly understand why Yahweh said to Judah in Hosea: Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.
Christ is the Lion of Judah, the ensign raised up against the nations, who fights in the day of battle and gives an ultimate destruction of His enemies alongside with His people Israel all threshing together. There are several messianic Psalms which also credit the Messiah (and His body) with feats such as these:
Psa 118:10-12 All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them. They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
Psa 110:6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.
It is no mistake that Psalm 118 is a Messianic prophecy, for Christ quoted from it in reference to Himself at Matt 21:42, Mark 12:10, et al. And Peter quoted from it in reference to Christ at 1 Peter 2:7.
It is no mistake that Psalm 110 is a Messianic prophecy, for Christ quoted from it in reference to Himself in places such as Matt 22:44. And Paul quoted from it in reference to Christ at Hebrews 1:5 and 1:13.
David was a prophet, as Christ relates him in Luke 24:44, and this is why so many Psalms are prophetic. When we read his psalms in the first person, we can often read it as if Christ is speaking (think of “they pierced my hands and my feet” – Psalm 22).
Again, David was also a warrior much like Christ: who is a warrior messiah of the harvest at the time of the latter rain. It is interesting how at the time of the First Advent, the people were expecting this prophesied warrior Messiah but instead received a man of sorrows. And now at the time of the Second Advent, many people are expecting a man of sorrows but will instead receive a warrior Messiah. Both times does Yahweh make foolish the wisdom of society, and glorify Himself.
To summarize: we have seen that in the prophecies of Joel, Hosea, Zechariah, Ezekiel, Revelation and in the words of Christ in the Gospels, that the latter rain is connected to the harvest and destruction of God’s enemies. And this is all fitting – for the latter rain was always agriculturally connected with a harvest.
We can look at the harvest of the enemies of God in a sense as an atonement for our mistakes of the past, and for the days where we failed to make this harvest in the time of the first Joshua. This all encapsulates the prophesied marriage supper of the lamb (Rev 19, Zephaniah 1), a final sacrifice and sweet aroma to Yahweh at the time when He marries Israel unto Himself forever.
Paul wrote that a day of rest remains for the people of Yahweh, mainly because they had failed to attain the rest at the time of Joshua. (Yahweh had connected this rest with the destruction of His enemies.) But after the harvest, Yahweh is able to safely sow His chosen in the Earth with peace, as no strangers will again pluck them down.
Hosea 2:15 And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
And again from Isaiah, 65:22-23: They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
Therefore they are in a perfect condition to receive the latter rain, and as Paul writes at 1 Cor 15:51-52:
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (KJV)