[SW404] 11/2/2019 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019
The Rain Has Come!
Text: Joel 2:28-29, etc.
Jesus Christ has poured out the Holy Spirit! It first happened at Pentecost in Acts 2, after Jesus Christ rose from the dead, ascended, and was glorified. But this “pouring out” did not end then. Even today, the rain of His Holy Spirit is here, to fill the hearts of every Christian who repents and obeys Him!
The LORD promised His repentant people, through Joel —
Joel 2:28 “It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on the male and female servants (literally, bondservants) I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”
When the rain of the Holy Spirit was first poured out, Peter explained to those who were nearby, watching and wondering what had happened —
Acts 2:16 “. . . this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall be in the last days’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy.’”
The rain has come! And no one is exempt, just as with salvation. Any who have believed into Christ — men, women, old, young, even those who are male or female servants to others — will filled to overflowing, if they repent for their sin and obey His command to stay and wait (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5).
But what is it to stay and wait for the rain that has already come? It is no different today than it was for the 120 who stayed and waited —
Acts 1:14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
Continual devotion to prayer! They did not go out to do any ministry until they received what the Lord had commanded them to wait for!
Jesus promised the rain of the infilling of the Holy Spirit —
John 7:37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
And before that, the Lord GOD, the Father, promised —
Ezekiel 36:26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”
And now, the promise is fulfilled! What did the promise of the rain of the Holy Spirit mean, for believers who stay and obey?
No more hungering and thirsting for righteousness, for you have been filled (Matthew 5:6)!
No more sinful heart, but a pure heart, so you shall see God (Matthew 5:8)!
Therefore, no more struggling with sin, for Jesus Christ has set you free from it (John 8:31-36)! Your sin nature is crucified (Galatians 5:24)!
No more selfish motives, but compelled by the love of Christ to speak frankly and bluntly, and to hold up the banner of Jesus to sinners, both inside and outside of the church (2Corinthians 5:14)!
No more hiding behind locked doors for fear of persecution and death (John 20:19), but bold proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:14 and throughout the rest of the Book of Acts)!
No more a “silent Christian,” but a Spirit-filled believer who cannot stop speaking about what you have seen and heard (Acts 4:20)!
No more barrenness, but an abundance of the fruit of the Holy Spirit continually seen in you — God’s love, God’s exceeding joy, God’s peace, God’s patience, God’s kindness (literally, character), God’s goodness, God’s faith, God’s humility, and the Spirit’s control and strength!
No more hate and anger, but the divine love of God poured out in your heart to overflowing (Romans 5:5)!
No more separation from God, but intimate fellowship with God the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ (1John 1:3).
No longer walking the way you used to walk, but walking in the same manner as Jesus walked in this world (1John 2:6).
No longer the person you were, but as Jesus Christ is, so are you in this world.(1John 4:17).
No more defaming the name of Jesus by your actions, but you are His witness here, a living representation of Him (Acts 1:8).
This is the experience of a Spirit-filled Christian.
But wait! What about five of the seven churches in Revelation? They were not these things, even though the rain had come!
What about the believers in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Colossae, and the believing Jews addressed in Hebrews? They were not these things, even though the rain had come!
What about many in today’s churches? They are not these things, even though the rain has come!
How can that be? Why are they not what they should be? They have not obeyed Jesus Christ’s command to stay and wait.
Why have they not obeyed? They have listened to false teachers/preachers/leaders who say —
— You do not need “it” (the Holy Spirit’s infilling) or
— You received everything when you first believed and were baptized in water
— God understands that you cannot help but sin
— All your sins are automatically forgiven — past, present and future
— Jesus came to make your life better
— Jesus came to do good things
— Jesus came to find out what it is like to be us
None of these things are true. But many believe them, and thus, they believe into another Jesus.
When the real Jesus is presented to them, they are offended, just as many infants in Christ were offended by Paul’s rebukes. They like their sin, and want to continue in it, and/or they do not believe it is possible to be set free from sin.
And tragically, many who believe into another Jesus fall away from this false faith in another Jesus. Many continue to sin and pay the price of it — separation from the one true God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
And just as tragically, many of their false teachers are exposed as pedophiles, homosexuals, or thieves. Many false teachers question the truth of the Word of God. Many false teachers commit suicide.
The hearts of many believers are dry instead of filled with the rain that has come! Is it only the fault of their false teachers/preachers/leaders? The Lord emphatically says, “No!”
Christians who like to hear ear-pleasing words are also to blame. But they love what they hear! But they themselves are responsible to learn the Word of God on their own, and to stay and wait for the rain that has come, so they are able to discern the true from the false.
In the days of Jeremiah, the Lord spoke this to His people — both the false teachers and those who followed them —
Jeremiah 5:31 “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; and My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?”
Jesus Christ commands those who are thirsty to come to Him and drink of the rain that was coming when He was glorified — seated once again at the right hand of His Father, the position He had eternally occupied — and the living water that would pour forth from those who would be filled with the Spirit, just as I spoke earlier, from John 7:37-39, beloved!
He died and rose and ascended and was glorified! The rain has come!
O believer, you cannot make yourself holy. Man’s wisdom and ways are from men, and are like leaky, broken cisterns — you have no living water in you, if you depend on such things. You commit two evils, says the Lord —
Jeremiah 2:13 “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
You must stay and wait for Him to make a new cistern in you, one that does not leak — He will give you a new heart, just as the Father promised! And then, He will fill you with the rain that has come. If you try to do it yourself, you commit two evils, He says!
Tragically, many of today’s Christian missionaries and preachers who have followed false teaching go out as leaky man-made cisterns, rather than staying and waiting for the rain that has come! They have great zeal, when they first go out. But because they do not have His living water, they fail and fall and become discouraged and disillusioned. But they are only disillusioned because their “Jesus” is an illusion — another Jesus!
Many Christians do not believe Jesus when He says that it is only when you are filled with His Spirit that you can be His witness here —
Acts 1:8 . . . you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
O believer! Do you see it? The rain has come, but you have missed it! You have been falsely taught, you have loved the ear-pleasing words of your preachers/teachers/leaders. You have loved your sin! You do not know the Word of God so as to discern the true from the false!
If you see it, then repent for committing the evils of forsaking Him and hewing your own cistern! Stay and wait for Him to fill you with the rain which has come! He will surely answer your cry!
Lord Jesus, how wonder-full You are! You will supply every need of every believer, if they will heed Your commands! Let it be so, I pray! Amen.