Thursday, January 26, 2017

Lesson 4. The Personality of the Holy Spirit

Sabbath School Today

With the 1888 Message Dynamic

The Holy Spirit and Spirituality

Lesson 4. The Personality of the Holy Spirit

On a recent American television quiz show, the contestants were required to identify the term pneuma hagios. Two had no idea what it meant, but the third got it right. Pneuma hagios is the Greek term for Holy Ghost (see Matt 1:18 and many others). It was a difficult question, and probably many Christians might not have known the answer. It points up how little the population of a country which calls itself Christian knows about the Bible. Unless we understand Who the Holy Spirit is and His role in the plan of salvation, we will never understand the gospel.

One of the joys of the 1888 message is the understanding that it is easy to be saved and hard to be lost ... but there is an "if." Both A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner understood the "if" in a unique way. They reasoned that since all of God's biddings are enablings, the above statement is true if one understands and believes the full truth of the gospel.

Righteousness is by faith, totally, and not by works. Then is "faith" the new "works" that we must perform? "The truth of the gospel" is a phrase found twice in the book of Galatians. It is related to "the faith of Jesus" which was motivated by His love. Therefore, it's easy to be saved and hard to be lost if we understand what it cost the Son of God to die for you on the cruel cross. He died your second death. Any understanding of "faith" less than this becomes "works."

The result is we no longer have to look at God's law as a set of impossible standards, which sooner or later we will break, causing us to be lost. Many young (and older) people worry that they have committed the unpardonable sin, so why try to be good. They believe they are already lost.

Knowing more about the personality of the Holy Spirit may help us understand that God does not give up on us unless that is our persistent, deliberate, and ultimate decision. Most know the text that tells us: "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God," but don't understand the significance of the remainder of the same text which says, "by [literally "in"] whom you were sealed for the day of redemption" (Eph. 4:30).

This gives a tremendous insight into the work of the Holy Spirit, and how He feels when His efforts are rejected. For those who are worried that God has given up on them, we need only look at the history of Israel to be assured that God, through His Spirit, is very patient and gracious with us throughout our lifetimes. With the Holy Spirit personally interested in our salvation, we can always know that God never gives up as long as we allow Him to work with us.

In Deuteronomy, Moses warns Israel that she will wander away from God (see Deut. 32:15 et seq.), but He provides the solution: "For the Lord will vindicate His people, and will have compassion on His servants; when He sees that their strength is gone ... (Deut. 32:36). In other words, once they have realized that all their efforts to better themselves by their own strength fail, He can send His Spirit.

Throughout her troubled history, Israel kept wandering off, following pagan gods because she thought they would fulfill all her needs and wishes. As individuals today, we can do the same thing. We suppose that God leaves us each time we turn our backs on Him. We think that we have been so bad, that even God has given up on us. Sometimes we don't recognize God in the quiet thoughts that come into our minds. We remember a person or situation from long ago that encourages us. This is how the Spirit works. Sometimes God brings adversity to teach us the error of our ways. What is important is that God has not left us, but is gently leading us closer to Him. Our God does not give up on us easily, which makes it "hard to be lost".

When the tabernacle was dedicated in the desert, God manifested His approval and presence by the light of the Shekinah. That Presence was there continuously until the temple Solomon built was destroyed when Israel was taken captive by the Babylonian army. This happened after God warned Israel repeatedly to repent of their sin. Finally, He had to send them into captivity to get them to stop following pagan gods. Even then, Ezekiel was given a vision of the Shekinah's slow, reluctant departure from the temple, and called it the "glory of God" (see Ezek. 10:4, 18,19, 11:22-23). Following the destruction of the temple, the Shekinah was never again displayed to Israel in the form of light. Even with the captivity and the apostasy cycles after the return and rebuilding of Jerusalem, God was still guiding Israel, trying to get them to listen to Him. Even though Israel chose not to believe it, God was sending His Holy Spirit to make it difficult for her to choose to be lost.

Finally, He sent His Son, hoping, like the landowner in the parable (see Mark 12:1-12), that they would listen to Him. Instead of listening, they murdered His Son. Even after pronouncing the seven woes on Israel's leadership in Matthew 23:13-27, Jesus was grieved over having to give them up. In verses 37-38 He cries, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is left to you desolate!"

Even after Israel rejected Him, Jesus was reluctant to give up on them. Only after Israel stubbornly persisted in asking that God give up on them, did He honor their choice. When they said, "we have no other king but Caesar," during the trial of Jesus, they corporately made a serious choice. Even then, the destruction of Jerusalem was delayed many years. It was after Stephen was stoned that the decision was final. We can all agree that throughout Israel's history, the Holy Spirit was working on hearts, trying to make it hard for them to choose against God.

What had happened to Israel? After the return from captivity, they became zealous to protect and observe God's law until it turned into an idol worse than any carved image. What started out as a desire to please God out of love and delight in His law, turned into lifeless legalism. They came to believe the act of bringing a sacrifice earned them God's favor, missing the symbolism pointing to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ.

Like the church in Ephesus, Israel had persevered in their protection of the law and they didn't tolerate those who failed to reverence it, but they had lost their first love of it. Our love of God's law is derived from seeing how sinful we are compared to His law of love. We want to keep the law because we realize that is a reflection of God's character, and we want to be like Him. But we often confuse the sequence. We cannot change our hearts by what we think is "keeping" the law. True law keeping comes from a heart changed by the working of the Holy Spirit.

Both the Ephesian church and ancient Israel were zealous for keeping and protecting the law of God, but they had elevated law keeping instead of Jesus as their savior. Unless they returned to their first love of the law as the illustration of the God of love, the Ephesians' candlestick would be removed. What a sad thing to happen to people who genuinely loved God's way to righteousness which leads to genuine law keeping, but it had disintegrated into formal ritual. The Jews became so blinded they refused to see that their candlestick had been taken away. We can also be in danger of becoming so enthusiastic about law keeping, that we believe we are entitled to be mean, dogmatic, and legalistic in treating those who, in our estimation, don't measure up.

Jesus includes all of us in His exclamation, "'If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, "From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water."' But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive ..." (John 7:37-38). People have no hesitation in telling others they are thirsty, but would never think of admitting that they are longing for the life of God. That is why so few become filled with righteousness. It is easier to believe that we can provide our own water rather than to admit dependence on Jesus, the source of living water.

"Jesus said of the water that he gave, which was the Holy Spirit, that it should be in us a well of water springing up unto eternal life. John 4:14; compare John 7:37-39. That is, the spiritual life which we now live in the flesh by the Spirit is the surety of the spiritual body to be bestowed at the resurrection when we will have the life of Christ made manifested in immortal bodies" (Ellet J. Waggoner, Waggoner on Romans, p. 8.131).

Our flesh will always be at war with the Spirit, but when we die daily to the flesh through the strength of the Spirit, we and the Spirit will not be grieved, but will experience the greatest joy possible, being with our Lord Jesus.

--Arlene Hill

1. Bible texts are from the New American Standard Bible.
2. Pastor Paul Penno's video of this lesson is on the Internet at:
3. "Sabbath School Today" is on the Internet at:


Friday, January 20, 2017

Lesson 3. The Divinity of the Holy Spirit

Sabbath School Today

With the 1888 Message Dynamic

The Holy Spirit and Spirituality

Lesson 3. The Divinity of the Holy Spirit


How do we know that the Holy Spirit is God? Because the 1888 message helps us to see the Divine love of the Holy Spirit. Follow the agape and you'll soon conclude that the Holy Spirit is God.

Agape derives from the highest Intelligent Being in the universe, which can only be God. The Holy Spirit is the One who sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts (Rom. 5:5). Therefore, He administers God's love. He gives us righteousness by faith, which is agape by faith. The much-anticipated latter rain of the Holy Spirit is an unprecedented outpouring ofagape.

The Spirit is a Person who loves. Paul implores the church members at Rome "for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit," to pray for him (Rom. 15:30). Only a person can love. The Father is a Person, and He loves us (see John 3:16); the Son is a Person, and He loves us (see John 13:1). As a person, the Holy Spirit also loves us.

If you love, you love forever, for as Abraham Lincoln said, "Love is eternal." Love has its source in God, for the Bible says that "God is love" (1 John 4:8), and He is eternal.

The new covenant God promised to Abraham was the blessing of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:14). Abraham believed God's promise and "it was accounted to him for righteousness" (vs. 6). The Holy Spirit was the active agent in making Abraham righteous. Righteousness is moral power. It is right living. Righteousness is agape, and the Holy Spirit "puts" this Divine love into receptive hearts like Abraham's.

In the Book of Hebrews the Apostle writes that the Spirit is the Lord [Jehovah] who spoke the new covenant in Jeremiah 31:33. "The Holy Spirit also is a witness to us: for after that He had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them" (Heb. 10:15, 16). The Holy Spirit, Jehovah, promised that He would inscribe "my laws" into the hearts of Israel. The point to be noticed is that the laws derive from the Spirit.

An atheist astronomer who studies the universe is able to discover certain laws governing it. But he would never claim for the cosmos a moral operative. The atheist would never say the universe is benevolent and loving. He would be more inclined to say that the discoverable laws of the universe are just there and one had better work with them and not against them or suffer the consequences.

The Holy Spirit cannot be just a force, influence, or operational law of the universe proceeding from God. The Spirit is law. The Apostle Paul wrote of "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:2). Only Divine Intelligence can make moral law and particularly law with a foundation of agape. Jesus recognized agape as the basis of moral law. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matt. 22:37-39).

It's beyond logic to think that cold, hard, facts of the law of physics could "put" the Holy Spirit's love of justification by faith into human hearts. Therefore by following the agape we conclude that the Holy Spirit is God.

The plan of salvation to redeem sinners is agape through and through devised by three persons. It is agape that makes the Godhead one. It is agape that motivates the Father to reconcile the world unto Himself through Jesus Christ. It is agapewhich actuated Christ to serve humanity and then suffer and die on His cruel cross in order to save the world. And it isagape which moves the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin, righteousness [justification], and judgment (John 16:8-10).

The Holy Spirit loves us so much that He initiates conviction of our need for Jesus' righteousness. Jesus is the source of righteousness because immediately following the word "righteousness" Jesus said, "because I go to my Father" (John16:10). The Holy Spirit is so intimately united with Christ that Jesus said, "He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you" (John 16:14).

When Jesus was received of the Father, following His resurrection, His sinless life and perfect sacrifice were such a demonstration of agape for sinners that Heaven's approval was signified by the release of the Spirit in an heretofore, unprecedented way at Pentecost. Pentecost was a fulfillment of the new covenant promise which was "the blessing of Abraham" (Gal. 3:14). The Spirit bestowed Jesus' righteousness upon the world. God's pardon for the whole world of sinners was bestowed. And, for those who appreciate this gift of Divine love, given at such great cost, they are "accounted" righteous just as their father Abraham as made righteous (Gal. 3:6).

The Holy Spirit's Divine love accomplished the atonement of the sinful heart with God. Faith was activated. The hearts of the Apostles and thousands of other believers were so reconciled to God that they could no longer live for self, but for Him who died for them. It was the Holy Spirit's love that did it. And the believers' oneness with God was manifested by obedience to all of God's love-based commandments. The Ten Commandments became for them as so many new covenant promises of the Holy Spirit. Their human hearts were spontaneously moved to obey.

Thus, it is the Holy Spirit whose love for the church and the world accomplishes the bestowal of justification--God's great pardon of the world literally from hell, which is the second death. The Spirit reveals that "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them" (2 Cor. 5:19). It is the Spirit who "put[s] my laws into their hearts, and in their minds" (Heb. 10:16) in fulfillment of the new covenant.

As such, this is the cleansing of the sanctuary truth. The Holy Spirit in the 1888 message points the way to a clearer understanding of the consistency between justification by faith and the sanctuary truth. The 1888 message is the only understanding of justification by faith which is parallel to and consistent with the cleansing of the sanctuary, and is in harmony with the law of God. The 1888 message is the only gospel that doesn't nullify or diminish the law of God.

By opening our hearts to appreciate this truth of the sanctuary we have an entirely different experience. Let the Holy Spirit guide your mind and heart into this clearer understanding of the gospel sanctuary truth. Following the agape of the Holy Spirit leads us to the conclusion that He is one of the three persons of the Godhead along with the Father and the Son Jesus Christ.

--Paul E. Penno



Pastor Paul Penno's video of this lesson is on the Internet at:

"Sabbath School Today" is on the Internet at:

Raul Diaz

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sabbath School Today, Lesson 2, Quarter 1-17

                                                   Sabbath School Today

With the 1888 Message Dynamic

The Holy Spirit and Spirituality

Lesson 2. The Holy Spirit: Working Behind the Scenes


When a theologian writes that the Holy Spirit is "elusive" and "mysterious," it leaves a layman in confusion. The Spirit is anything but a mythic force. The 1888 message clears away the shadowy misunderstanding of the Spirit. Since Christ is our true High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, 100 percent Divine and 100 percent human, He is unable to physically be present everywhere. Hence, Christ's representative, His equal as God, is "another Comforter" sent to come alongside everyone. He is the true Vicar of Christ.

Since the 1888 message is the clearest gospel revealed as present truth for our time, it is about the cleansing of the sanctuary truth in its post-1844 phase. So the Holy Spirit works with Christ revealing the truth of the gospel for our end-time.

The lesson for Tuesday entitled, "The Holy Spirit and the Sanctuary," makes the connection with the Spirit's work when the tabernacle was built in the wilderness. But the connection of the Holy with the sanctuary is more than cold dry facts. It is heartwarming truth. The focus of the 1888 message associates the work of the Holy Spirit in finishing the work of the sanctuary, preparing a people for translation without seeing death at Christ's second coming.

In the past, the investigative judgment, a phrase used to describe the sanctuary truth, has been used to describe this last phase of Christ's work. This investigation has been called the last warning message to the world. In some respects it has been more terrifying than comforting to conclude that Christ, the Father, and the angels are reviewing the record books of our lives in an effort to find dirty secrets that will keep us out of heaven.

The 1888 message brings comfort, teaching us that it is not our job to cleanse our lives of sin. In the Old Testament annual Day of Atonement it was the high priest who made atonement for the people. We may rightly conclude, then, that it is Christ's job to cleanse us from sin. Our job is to let Him do it.

If you have never connected the work of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, with the idea of the investigative judgment, then this 1888 concept may bring joy to your heart. There are three things that the Spirit does which line up with the pre-Advent judgment truth. Jesus said of the Spirit, "I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." Then Jesus explains what He means: "of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged" (John 16:7-11).

He will give the final gift of repentance. In every human heart the Holy Spirit has brought a conviction of sin, a sense of right and wrong. And blessed are those who respond to that conviction.

We would do well to make sure of our present heart attitude toward the ministry of the Holy Spirit, in the greater light of intelligence which now shines unmercifully upon the hidden motives and evil machinations of our ego, self. Many of us would be quite uneasy if a thoroughgoing psychoanalyst began work on us. Even though we have stood in numberless "reconsecration services," how would we react to a genuine psychoanalysis by the true Holy Spirit of God, whose "great office work" is "thus distinctly specified by our Saviour: 'And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin.'" [1] He convicts us of sin, so that He may heal us of it.

But He has a second work also: "He will convict the world ... of righteousness." Why? "Because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more" (John 16:10). That means that we can "see" Jesus just as clearly now through the work of the Holy Spirit as the disciples could who saw Him face to face among them.

In the presence of God there is guilt. It is almost impossible to conceal even from yourself. Romans 8:7 says: "The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." We have within our minds now this resistance to being in His presence and there is a reservoir of sin and sinful inclinations within us that we do not understand.

Peter is an example of that. He said he would follow His Lord to prison and death. And he meant every word of it. But Ellen White says he did not know himself. Hidden within his heart were elements of evil that circumstances would fan to life. Unless he was made conscious of his danger these would prove his eternal ruin.

The message says there is a remedy for this reservoir of corruption. It is the probing of the Holy Spirit. His function is, among other things, to bring us into circumstances where we will be forced to confront traits we didn't know we had, to bring up to our conscious level an awareness of sins still lurking in our lives.

Every time that happens, we are confronted with the decision of the ages. We have to decide, would I rather have Jesus or that? So over and over the Holy Spirit brings us into circumstances that tend to make us aware. And sometimes we say, I didn't know I had that in me. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. Thank Him for doing it.

A. T. Jones put it this way at one of the ministerial meetings: "[Some of the brethren] came here free; but the Spirit of God brought up something they never saw before. The Spirit of God went deeper than it ever went before, and revealed things they never saw before; and then, instead of thanking the Lord that that was so, and letting the whole wicked business go, and thanking the Lord that they had ever so much more of him than they ever had before, they began to get discouraged. They said, 'Oh, what am I going to do? My sins are so great.' There they let Satan cast a cloud over them, and throw them into discouragement. ...

"If the Lord has brought up sins to us that we never thought of before, that only shows that He is going down to the depths, and He will reach the bottom at last; and when He finds the last thing that is unclean or impure, ... we say, 'I would rather have the Lord than that'--then the work is complete, and the seal of the living God can be fixed upon that character." [2]

Ellen White wrote: "It is because your circumstances have served to bring new defects in your character to your notice; but nothing is revealed but that which was in you." [3]

Remember, repentance is not something that we work up ourselves; it is a gift from the Lord, for Acts 5:31 tells us that "Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." He convicts us of righteousness--that is, He convicts us of the "right" thing to do at all times. Accept the "gift." Receive it! It's not a sad experience; it is intensely joyous, for to be heart-reconciled to the Lord Jesus and the Father is joy unspeakable!

Joseph in Egypt immediately knew what Jesus would do--run. You "run," not because of egocentric fear, but from a heart-appreciation of the price the Son of God paid for your soul: how can you not give Him your all, forever? He gave Himself, His all, forever!

Then third, He convicts "of judgment, because the prince of this world [Satan] is judged" (John 16:11), which means Satan is condemned in your life. He convicts us of "judgment," that is, that Satan, the prince of this world, is cast out, defeated. He "convicts" us of triumph over sin; we see His power in our lives.

In other words, in plain language, it's impossible for us to "backslide" unless we do what Stephen said the scribes and Pharisees did: "you always resist the Holy Spirit" (Acts 7:51, NKJV). The Holy Spirit says He will take you by the hand as a father leads a little child, or maybe the Hebrew means, take you in His "arms," but He says we squirm away from Him (see Hosea 11:3, 4, TEV). There's no need for backsliding.

Today, Jesus will "say" something to you, convict you of some duty. Tell your "Father which art in heaven" a deep thanks! Wait before Him.

--Paul E. Penno

[1] Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 392.
[2] A. T. Jones, 1893 General Conference Bulletin, p. 404.
[3] Ellen G. White, "A Lively Hope," Review and Herald, August 6, 1889.

Pastor Paul Penno's video of this lesson is on the Internet at:

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lesson 1. The Spirit and the Word

Sabbath School Today

With the 1888 Message Dynamic

The Holy Spirit and Spirituality

Lesson 1. The Spirit and the Word


We are thrilled with the biblical topic of study for this new year on the Holy Spirit. Our quarterly has adequately covered the Spirit's role in revelation, inspiration, and illumination with respect to the Bible. A vital function of the Spirit is as a Teacher. Our question is: What is the role of the Holy Spirit in revealing the present truth of the gospel in the 1888 message? Has the church received the gospel; or, has righteousness by faith in light of our unique cleansing of the sanctuary truth been placed on hold?

What we need to clearly understand is that the church is teaching righteousness by faith, but it's the evangelical understanding of justification. Does Jesus straighten out crooked people with merely a legal pardon? Does believing in Jesus correct an auditing problem regarding the sinner's heavenly accounts? Evangelicals teach that by believing one is legally justified and sins are forgiven. Then, distinct from this launching of the Christian life is sanctification, which is never completed until the second coming. Thus justification and sanctification are separated. Should Seventh-day Adventists teach what non-Adventists teach about righteousness by faith? Is this what is being taught?

What was resisted in 1888 and beyond to this day is the "latter rain." It is significant that in these twelve lessons on the Holy Spirit there is not one devoted to the "latter rain." What the church needs most is little understood if not entirely neglected.

The latter rain from the 1888 perspective is the clearest gospel finally understood in the end-times. "Great truths that have lain unheeded and unseen since the day of Pentecost, are to shine from God's word in their native purity. To those who truly love God the Holy Spirit will reveal truths that have faded from the mind, and will also reveal truths that are entirely new." [1]

"The truth of the gospel" is an understanding of justification by faith which is consistent with and parallel to the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary truth. What Jones and Waggoner presented joined justification and sanctification as one. In other words, an appreciation of Christ's love in justifying all the world on His cross, becomes the great motivator for faith to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in Christian character perfection. Justification accomplished at the cross produces justification by faith, which in turn prepares one for the second coming.

Ellen White confirms that this "latter rain" perception of the gospel was opposed in the 1888 era. There was "opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord's message through Brethren [E. J.] Waggoner and [A. T.] Jones. By exciting that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit [latter rain] that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost [early rain]. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory [Rev. 18:1] was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world." [2]

We are in search of what the Holy Spirit is teaching us regarding the good news in light of the "latter rain." The word "justification" or "righteousness" means to straighten out that which is crooked. What is the heart-changing good news that can change the alienation and resistance that God's people have toward Him? What is our at-one-ment with the message?

What is "the latter rain" of the Holy Spirit? There are some simple, clear facts that will at least begin to clear up our perplexity:

The story of the "former rain" (see Joel 2:23) will help explain what is the "latter rain." It was at Pentecost that God's true people (those who believed in Christ) received the outpouring of God's true Holy Spirit. Now, after two millennia, we expect the gift of the Holy Spirit to be given again as the complement of the "former" blessing.

The "former rain" was the light of truth that was given as a gift--it was the perception of the truth that God's professed people had rejected, murdered, and crucified the Lord of glory. That blessing was not a loud noise so much as it was bright light: Peter proclaimed that those people present there had crucified the Messiah, the Son of God. "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart" (Acts 2:36, 37).

The latter rain will therefore be a gift of the Holy Spirit that will bring the true and ultimate conviction of sin that only He can bring to human hearts: the guilt of the crucifixion of Christ is our sin. But that is a truth that we don't comprehend clearly, as yet. When God's people do grasp that reality, there will come the greatest repentance of the ages (Zech. 12:10-13:1). [3] It will become the "final" experience of reconciliation with Christ, something known as "the final atonement."

This will make possible a movement, a second "Pentecost," a message to be proclaimed worldwide that will "lighten the earth with glory," and prepare a people for Christ's return.

You ask if the latter rain is falling now. According to what we read in Scripture, when the latter rain comes and when it is accepted, the work will be finished in that same generation. Our leaders for over a century have been saying that the latter rain is falling, present tense; yet the work has not been finished and most of those leaders are already dead. Large baptisms are not a sign of the latter rain.

The latter rain prepares the grain for the harvest. While it is true that the Lord may be working in ways we do not recognize, it is also true that "in a great degree" the latter rain and the loud cry was resisted and rejected in the years following 1888. [4] The important question is, Will the Lord renew the outpouring of the latter rain when there is no repentance for rejecting it when He sent it? Will He send the Jews a new Messiah when they do not repent of His sending them One 2000 years ago?

The promise is "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" (Joel 2:23). "The former rain" at Pentecost is identified with a "teacher of righteousness" (see margin, KJV). Thus the early rain was clearly specified as a message of righteousness by faith. "The latter rain" promised is parallel to "the former rain"--a message of righteousness.

"While Christ is in the sanctuary. ... the 'latter rain,' or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel. ..." [5] The Holy Spirit is our Teacher of righteousness.

--Paul E. Penno

[1] Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 473.
[2] Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 234, 235.
[3] "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn. ... In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness" (Zech. 12:10; 13:1).
[4] Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 234, 235.
[5] Ellen G. White, Early Writings, pp. 85, 86.

Pastor Paul Penno's video of this lesson is on the Internet at:

Sabbath School Today is on the Internet at:

Raul Diaz