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Rainfall in the better land

September 6, 2012

The better land represents the knowledge of God, and the spiritual inheritance of the saints. As the earthly Canaan was watered by rain, the better land is watered by God’s Spirit. In many prophecies, rainfall is a metaphor representing the Spirit, which enables our minds to understand the scriptures.

In the reign of Ahab, Israel had strayed from the knowledge of God. The prophet Elijah prayed that there would be no rain, until he gave the word for it. As the effects of famine became worse, Ahab searched throughout the whole earth for Elijah. The three years and six months, when there was severe famine in the land, is mentioned several times in the New Testament. The same period, expressed as 42 months and 1,260 days, is featured in the prophecies of Revelation 11, 12, and 13.

Jesus said to the Jews, “But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.” [Luke 4:25] Some have suggested this woman was a type of the church.

James said, “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.” [James 5:17] I suggest the three years and six months of famine in Elijah’s day is a type and a symbol of the whole age of the church, after the book of Revelation was written, and the canon of the New Testament was closed.

Famines were a characteristic feature of the promised land. One occurred in Abraham’s lifetime. “And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.” [Gen. 12:10]

Another famine occurred in the days of Joseph, and it was revealed to Pharaoh in a dream, that Joseph interpreted. [Gen. 41:25-32] This famine was in all lands.

Genesis 41:54
And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

Because of the famine, Joseph’s brothers travelled to Egypt, to buy bread there. All the family of Israel was reunited, and the brothers were reconciled. Israel remained in Egypt for four centuries.

In Egypt, there was very little rainfall; water for crops was obtained from the Nile, but the promised land was unlike Egypt, and its fertility depended upon rain.

Deuteronomy 11:10-12
For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs:
But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven:
A land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.

Moses compared his doctrine to rain. “My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:” [Deut. 32:2]

Job compared his teachings to rain; he said, “they waited for me as for the rain.” [Job 29:23]

David said that God will come like rain and showers. “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.” [Psalm 72:6] He said God confirms his inheritance with rain: “Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.” [Psa. 68:9]

When Isaiah asked how long it would be, before people finally understood the words of the prophets, he was told that it would not happen, until land became “utterly desolate.” No doubt the land referred to here the better land of the saints, which is made desolate because of flawed interpretations, and unbelief.

Isaiah 6:10-12
Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

God promises to give water to those who are thirsty, who thirst for knowledge, and the Spirit.

Isaiah 44:3-4
For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:
And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.

The promise of blessing to those who thirst is one of the beatitudes, in the sermon on the mount.

Matthew 5:6
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Jesus spoke of thirst, as a metaphor, which depicts desiring God’s word, and God’s holy Spirit. The two are identified with one another; Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” [John 6:63]

He said the Spirit is given to those who believe in him. [John 7:37-39]

Isaiah said rain and snow represent God’s word.

Isaiah 55:8-11
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

In Ezekiel’s prophecy of the judgment of Gog and Magog, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, are among the things that come upon the invaders. Hailstones must represent severe reproof. [Ezek. 38:22]

Daniel referred to something that is to be “poured out upon the desolate.” [Dan. 9:27] The church, and the better country is desolate, due to the presence of the abomination of desolation, but the Spirit of God will be poured out. This is the “anointing” in verse 24.

Joel also wrote of this promise.

Joel 2:23
Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath 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.

The prophet Amos described a famine of “hearing the words of the Lord.”

Amos 8:11-12
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.

People searching for the words of the Lord recalls Ahab searching for Elijah.

In Revelation 11, the two witnesses have the power to shut heaven, so there is no rain during their ministry.

Several prophecies speak of a spiritual rainfall at the end of the age, like that in the days of the Apostles; these two periods seem to be represented by the “latter rain” and the “former rain.”

Hosea 6:3
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

Hosea 10:12
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

To receive the Spirit, one must ask Jesus Christ.

Zechariah 10:1
Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

Jesus sends the Spirit, and those who do not worship him miss out on its benefits.

Zechariah 14:17
And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.

The various scriptures predicting a time of rain upon the church’s better land recall the great rain that occurred at the end of the three and a half years of drought in the days of Elijah.

James wrote:

James 5:7-9
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

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