The Former and the Latter Rain

Joel 2: 23b-24

And He will cause the rain to come down for you—
The former rain,
And the latter rain in the first month.
24 The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

As I was reading this passage I began to have a vision of it’s fulfillment in the earth during this last revival which is rapidly coming upon us. I saw God’s threshing floor, it was so full of wheat that it didn’t look like it hold any more. What is the threshing floor? That is the place where the wheat is brought as it is harvested. There, the wheat is freed from that which is holding it. The stems that are holding the precious kernels of wheat are all broken loose, the hard hulls are removed and the chaff is blown away until all that is left is the pure grain of wheat. This is the place where people are set free from all that has them bound as Jesus does a work in their lives that only He could ever possibly perform.

I began to see the vats of wine and oil, they were overflowing there was so much, the harvest was so great. We know that wine in scripture most commonly points to the joy of the Lord flowing in our lives. The oil most commonly is representative of the Holy Spirit poured out on God’s people. I began to see people so full of joy that it just poured out of them and onto the people around them. I saw the oil poured upon God’s people in such an abundance that it was flowing out to the world around them and changing everything that was around them. The anointing was so powerful and so abundant that there was literally no holding it back.

God promised the former and the latter rain would come upon us. The former rain was fulfilled in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the 120 in the upper room. The result was a harvest that went around the world. The latter rain is about to fall and when it does, it is going to change the world in our time. God’s threshing floor will be full to overflowing of the precious souls that will come to Jesus. The lives saved, healed, delivered, and set free by Jesus Christ will be innumerable!

About the New Believers Series – Getting Started

Congratulations on your decision to follow Jesus Christ. As a new disciple of Jesus, there are some things that we need to explore in order to properly understand what just happened as well as answer some common questions that new believers have. In this series we will start by discussing Salvation, what just happened to me? A whole lot just happened to you and is very important to understand your new found relationship with Jesus Christ. Next will answer the all important question, what do I need to do next? The two most important daily habits a believer can develop, prayer and bible reading. Many other topics will be presented to help you develop your walk in Christ. It is our sincere prayer and wish for you that you will learn much from this series and get off to a great start in your new life!

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) vs Christianity

AOC has said some things that leave one scratching their head and wondering how anyone could possibly believe that things that come out of her mouth. Surely she can’t really believe the crazy sounding things that she is saying; it must be a ploy to get attention from the media. The disturbing news is this, not only does she believe it, but so do millions of other young people across our nation. We as Christians have failed generations of young people and God has raised up a warning sign to point out to us that we need to repent as a church for our part in that failure.

God has placed, AOC where she is for a time, she may not be there for very long, but she serves as a dire warning to the church. If your first inclination is to point out how very silly she sounds or to criticize her for her positions, then you have completely missed what God is expecting from us. We should first have sorrow in our hearts that someone could so deceived as to believe the things that she speaks. Secondly, we should be in deep repentance that we have allowed the devil to deceive entire generations into believing his horrible lies. They don’t know the trap that is set for them; they don’t know that in the end, they will be destroyed by these deceptions. Christ warned us that strong delusions would come, and take warning; they are here.

Isn’t it time that we stop looking at these kids with disdain and start praying for their salvation? In Joel’s prophecy, God promised the former and the latter rain. Isn’t it time for the latter rain? God said that He would pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh, our sons and our daughters would prophecy and our old men would dream dreams. It’s time…we need to be in prayer for God to pour out His Spirit. Look at Acts 2, what were they doing before the Holy Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost? They were praying with one accord, or in other words, with the same goal…the promise of the Father poured out upon them and their Children.

Look, I’m not really trying to wake anybody up or anything, but we are standing at a crossroads, we can pray until we see that latter rain poured out or we can sit on our posteriors and let hell come to the face of the earth. The choice is ours to make…God didn’t say anywhere that He was going to just take care of everything apart from us…but He did say “If my people who are called by name will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways THEN will I hear and from Heaven and heal their land.”

Having Faith in the Midst of Fire

Without faith it is impossible to please God, when the fire is raging as it is now, we are confronted with choices, give in or stand with our shield of faith up! Right now it is really easy to give in to fear, depression, or anger at the circumstances that are robbing us of our ability to live a normal life like we did just a few weeks ago. For a child of God, this is merely a training time and time of proving. What is the most important thing we can do in the midst of this? Pleasing God of course.

We know that God has given us the full armor of God as described by Paul, this includes the shield of faith; where does faith come from? Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Every day when we arise, we need to pick up our shield of faith and use it to quench those fiery darts that the devil loves to send our way. We need to resolve that every day no matter what circumstances we may encounter, our goal is to please God every minute of every day. To do that, we must be walking by faith and not by what we see or hear going on around us.

Let’s tune into the heavenly voice and listen to what He has to say to us. Ignore the media, all they are peddling is doubt and fear anyway, let’s make it our goal to believe God’s word and let everything else run off. If we are to please God, then faith has to be our watch word every day. Faith is not just words, faith is action, faith is living above the fear, above the anger, above the doubt and depression. We have the peace that passes all understanding, let’s live like it!

Scripture reading:

Hebrews 6, Ephesians 6, Romans 10

Happy Easter…Let’s Celebrate the Resurrection of the King!

This Easter everything is different. Most of us are staying home, church services are cancelled, family dinners are cancelled, egg hunts, cancelled, it seems like everything that we have come to view as Easter has been taken away from us. Though we can’t venture out and do our normal routines this year, we can take a minute to take a look at the real meaning of Easter. This is the day when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

 Here is the account from John 20.

Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the [a]handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not [b]know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.

11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”

She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!”

She turned and said to [c]Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).

17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the [d]disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.

It’s not the all the activities and trappings that make Easter, it is the one who gave Himself for us that makes Easter. Take a minute and consider Him, teach your children the true meaning of Easter and then give thanks to the one who made it all possible…Jesus Christ the King!

Learning to Walk in the Fire

The Corona Virus outbreak has changed the way the whole world is living right now. We are stuck at home and can only go to businesses that are considered essential to survival and we are cut off from everything that we normally would do. We took for granted that we would go to work daily and return home, visit with family and friends, attend church services on Sunday and otherwise live a normal human life. Suddenly, a virus shows up and everything changes. Everything we used to do is off limits to us for fear of becoming infected or infecting others. The fire is now raging out of control, we can’t pay our bills, we can barely afford to live and our support systems have been cut off. What is God doing to us?

First, let’s take a moment and let’s do what Jesus said in John 14:27 “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Did not Jesus promise us His peace? Did He not promise to never leave us nor forsake us? Yes and Yes. For the child of God, this is nothing more than learning to walk in the fire. Remember the three Hebrew children in Daniel 3? “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the[e] Son of God.” This is a lesson in learning to trust God in difficult times.

The corona virus may seem scary and out of control, but it is subject to God’s word and His limits. It will depart when it has accomplished His purposes in the earth. God is warning all people everywhere that it is time to repent, meaning to turn from our sin and give our hearts and lives to Him, and get our lives in order with Him. We who are called Christians need to learn to trust in God alone. Not in the world, nor in uncertain riches, nor any other thing, only God.

God is preparing His people to stand unafraid of the events which will soon come upon the earth. Many of them will be very frightening, so much so that peoples hearts will seize up in their chest. Jesus told us this was coming in Luke 21:26 “men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth…” How will we who are called to be salt and light in the earth be able to minister to those who are without hope unless we have learned to be calm in the midst of the storm? We need to learn to walk by faith, not by what we see, but by putting our trust in our loving Father.

If you are reading this and you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, right now you are saying in your heart, Brother Fred, how can anybody possibly have peace while a virus is killing people all over the world? I will answer with this, it’s the peace that passes all understanding that God gives to those who surrender to Him. Notice I said surrender…not just giving Him lip service, but actually coming into a living, breathing relationship with Him. How do we do this? By asking Him to have mercy upon us, by confessing that we are lost sinners in need of a savior, by believing that God sent His only begotten Son into the world to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world…and yes, that means you and me. And most of all, by confessing that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, was crucified, that God raised Him from the dead on the third day and that he ever lives to make intercession for those that come to Him in faith. If we ask Him to save us, He will, He will radically change us from death to life, life eternal. Cry out to Him!

Happy Easter everyone…this is what Easter is truly all about.