Through the experience of the apostles, God has outlined what He expects from us as we anticipate the outpouring of the latter rain. The steps they followed in preparing for the early rain are the steps we need to take now to be prepared for the power that will finish the work. Understanding that they made up the corporate body of Christ, the apostles bound themselves together and, through God’s power, were of one accord.
What was the result? On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was given to them. Boldly they preached Jesus as the Messiah and His resurrection. Three thousand responded to the invitation of salvation. After the healing of the crippled man at the gate of the temple and Peter’s discourse to the multitude of worshipers who were eyewitnesses of the miracle, 5,000 believed (Acts 4:4). As the Holy Spirit further opened opportunities for the apostles to witness, “believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women” (Acts 5:14). So “the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient of the faith” (Acts 6:7).
Acts presents to us a picture of a church that was on fire for Christ. The Spirit removed all fear and replaced it with a burning desire to proclaim the risen Messiah.
Under the power of the latter rain, what can we expect? A repeat of what is recorded in Acts—God’s remnant taking the initiative in tearing down the strongholds of Satan. Seventh-day Adventists call it “the great controversy.” Ellen White does not hesitate to call it for what it really is. “Our work is an aggressive one, and as faithful soldiers of Jesus, we must bear the blood-stained banner into the very strongholds of the enemy. ‘We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ If we will consent to lay down our arms, to lower the blood-stained banner, to become the captives and servants of Satan, we may be released from the conflict and the suffering. But this peace will be gained only at the loss of Christ and heaven. We cannot accept peace on such conditions. Let it be war, war, to the end of earth’s history, rather than peace through apostasy and sin.”*
We have only two choices, (1) lie low, do not disturb the devil, keep things religiously neutral or “peaceful,” and lose heaven, or (2) continue to pray for the latter rain, receive the power of the Spirit, carry out the mission given to the remnant church in the great controversy, and welcome our Savior at His return. The second choice will become reality and will be the heaven-ordained result of revival and reformation through the Holy Spirit’s power.
* Review and Herald, May 8, 1888.