Q. I have heard some teaching on the “latter rain” and that we are entering into the latter rain which will be a period of time before the end of days. Please explain what is the latter rain and how does it apply to the church? Appreciate your response and teaching on this subject.
A. Historically, the former rains fell in the fall to soften the hard baked soil to receive and germinate the wheat and barley seeds as they were planted. The latter rains fell in the spring to help the grains come to maturity for harvest. (Barley was harvested in the late spring and wheat in the early part of summer.) This was a fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel in Deut. 11:14.
In the Pentecostal movement this concept of former and latter rain has been symbolized as the giving of the Holy Spirit. For them, the former rain was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit was given at the first Pentecost and the latter rain will be fulfilled with an even greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the end of the age approaches.
Most people who follow this teaching do not believe in the rapture of the Church. They see the Great Tribulation as a time of trial for many, but believe those they call “overcomers” will be the recipients of this greatest of all outpourings of the Holy Spirit. They will travel the world using their supernatural abilities to bring comfort to the afflicted during the time of judgment.
At that time the Church will put aside its denominational and doctrinal differences, achieve victory over the world, and usher in the Lord’s eternal Kingdom.
We’ve only touched the surface here, but as you can see this differs greatly from the end times scenario accepted by most evangelical Christians. It takes a great deal of reinterpreting the Scriptures and has been denounced as a false teaching by those who adhere to a literal interpretation of the Bible.