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[THE THREE COMINGS OF JESUS, CONT.]
Coming TO His Saints
By the Spirit.
Having jumped right into the middle of the subject, I am now going to "back up "and deal with each phase of the Lord's coming. First, we need to see that there is a spiritual coming of the Lord TO His church through the personal ministry of the Holy Spirit. Our authority for this is found in John 14:15-18, where Jesus promises another Comforter, and then He says: "I WILL COME TO YOU.” Jesus was very clear in His teaching on the Holy Spirit in John, chaps. 14-16, that this one who was to be sent was HIS personal representative, acting on HIS behalf, and communicating HIS life, truth, presence, etc. to HIS disciples (see particularly John 16:13-15). By means of the personal ministry of the Holy Spirit, HE would always be with them, to the end of the age (Mt. 28:20, Heb. 13:5).
God had spoken through the prophet Malachi concerning HIS COMING to His people in these words: "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to his temple" (Mal.3:l). This was first fulfilled when God in human flesh came to the Jews in the person of Jesus. The messenger who prepared the way was John the Baptist. In the early part of His ministry, Jesus came suddenly to the temple at Jerusalem and cleansed it of the money changers (John 2:13-17), However, I want to point out a second application which was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost after Jesus had been raised from the dead and had ascended back to the Father. The disciples who had gathered in the upper room to wait for the "promise of the Father" (Acts 1:4) had become, through the previous importation of the Holy Spirit (John 20:22), His spiritual
. But Jesus was yet to COME to that temple in order to endue and fill it with power and glory. This was to be accomplished through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Note the words in Acts 2:1-2: "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And SUDDENLY there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting." Thus in fulfillment of Mal. 3:1, Jesus suddenly came to His spiritual temple when the Holy Spirit was outpoured on the waiting disciples. TEMPLE
There must, however, be a second Pentecost in order to bring forth an end-time harvest. The outpouring of God's Spirit in the Scriptures is likened to the falling of rain (Isa, 44:3, 32:15). The Lord had promised the Israelites that if they would obey His commandments. He would give them rain for their land in its season, "the first rain and the latter rain" (Deut. 11:14). The first, or early, rain came in the fall of the year, after the long hot summer, in order to soften the ground that they might plow the soil and plant the grains before the winter came. The latter rain came in the spring in order to swell the grain and bring the crops to maturity for harvest. That which God established in the natural is designed by Him to pattern His workings in the spiritual realm. First the natural and then the spiritual (1 Cor. 15:46), with the natural becoming a type of the spiritual. Thus we know that for God to be true to His word, there MUST be a latter rain outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the HARVEST of this age to be brought forth. That which came on the disciples in the upper room as recorded in Acts 2 was only the first, or early, rain, in order that the gospel seed might be sown. We are now coming to the end of this age which is the time of the latter rain and harvest. Mt. 13:39 makes it clear that the harvest is the end of the age.
In James 5:7-8, God is likened to a husbandman who "waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receives the early and latter rain." Then follows the admonition, "Be [ ] also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws near." This scripture indicates that the Lord cannot receive the full fruit of the earth (the final harvest) apart from the "latter rain,” and with patience does He wait for the time of that fruit to come. There are two other scriptures which I will quote from the Old Testament to indicate the Lord's coming TO His people in a latter rain outpouring. The first is Joel 2:23: "Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God; for he has 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. " Then in Hos. 6:1-3 we have the following admonition and promise: "Come, and let us return to the Lord; for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has smitten and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and HE SHALL COME TO US as the rain, as the latter and former rain to the earth." We are now in the dawning period of this third day, and the Lord is beginning to come to His church as the rain. But first it is a restoration of the former rain, coming down now moderately, according to Joel 2:23. But the full intensity of the former rain is to be restored, as well as the latter rain being added to it. This will take place only after the firstfruits company has been translated, as I will show later.
[Next: The Coming of Jesus FOR His Saints .]
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