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Watch 2022 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - This Is Why An Outpouring Of The Holy Spirit Is Important

Derek Prince - This Is Why An Outpouring Of The Holy Spirit Is Important

Derek Prince - This Is Why An Outpouring Of The Holy Spirit Is Important

This is a clip from the full sermon: The Two Harvests

Harvest is a major theme of scripture that runs right through from the first book to the last. I think it’s first introduced in the time of Noah with God’s promise to Noah that as long as the earth remains, seed time and harvest will continue. But I want to turn, first of all, to the book of Deuteronomy. The book in which we have Moses’ instructions to Israel. just before they entered the land of Canaan. And he gave them very thorough instructions as to how they were to conduct themselves and how they would be able to enjoy the benefits and blessings of the inheritance into which God was taking them.

We’re going to read from Deuteronomy 11:13–14. You have to remember that Israel had come out of Egypt, which is essentially a flat country, and where there is relatively little rain. The main source of water is not rain but the River Nile. And in Egypt they have a device called a shaddof. Which they dip a bucket into the water of the Nile, pull it up and pour it into little channels which direct the water to the area where it’s needed for the crops. So, in a certain sense, the water was under their control. Moses said to Israel, when you get into the land God is giving you it's not like that. It’s a land of hills and valleys and it receives rain from heaven. And he said: it’s not under your control. You won’t be able to just get the water any time. But, if you’re obedient and faithful to God, He’ll give you the rain that you need.

And here is the promise. But, joined with the rain almost invariably in the Bible is the promise of the harvest. And we have to understand that the harvest depended on the rain. That’s true, of course, ultimately in every nation. But it’s much more true in the land of Israel. Because there are really only two main seasons. The hot, dry season and the cold, wetter season. There’s very little spring and virtually no autumn that you can notice. During the hot dry season, from about April to usually the end of September, no rain falls at all. Just none. Then they have what’s called the former rain, which comes at the beginning of the winter season. And in the economy of the agriculture, its purpose is to soften the soil, which by then is baked hard, so that the farmer can begin the processes which will lead to harvest. And it’s usually a major outpouring which covers the whole nation. Then throughout the winter, rain falls sporadically here and there.

But there’s no major overall outpouring until what’s called the latter or the last rain. Which usually falls about the time of the Passover. Which is the first month in the biblical year, corresponding to our Easter, about March or April. And the agricultural purpose of the latter rain is to cause the seed to germinate. If either the former or the latter rain fails, the harvest is probably going to fail. So, the rain is always intimately linked with the harvest. And in this promise that Moses gives to Israel here, he specifically joins the two. He also specifies three main types of harvest. They’re not by any means all but it is the grain, the new wine and the oil. You’ll find through the Bible (at least through the Old Testament) these are the three basic harvests. The grain harvest, the grape harvest and the olive harvest. And they’re mentioned here. I’ll read the passage.

Deuteronomy 11, beginning at verse 13: 'And it shall be that if you diligently obey my commandments [this is the Lord speaking] which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart, with all your soul; then I will give you the rain for your land in its season.' Notice it’s a gift from God. The Bible emphasizes that rain is under the sovereign control of the Lord. 'Then I will give you the rain for your land in its season; the early rain [or the former rain] and the latter rain...' And then notice the purpose in God’s economy: '...that you may gather in your grain, your new wine and your oil.' There are the three forms of harvest. And this actually runs through the Bible. As we’ll see it recurs in Revelation. Also through the Bible (and this is an unfolding revelation) the rain is a picture of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

And again, I believe, in the history of the church the outpouring of the Holy Spirit corresponds to the former and the latter rain. And the former rain fell on the Day of Pentecost and on the early church. And it was a universal outpouring on the church as it then was. And it set in motion the processes that were designed to lead to the harvest. Then throughout what you call the winter season there have been sporadic outpourings of the Holy Spirit almost every century in the church somewhere. But, no major outpouring that visited the whole church. Then, as I believe and this is my own understanding, at the beginning of the present (20th) century, actually on the first day of the century, the first of January 1900, in a certain sense the outpouring of the latter rain began.

And why I say the first of January is because on that day in a Bible school in Topeka, Kansas in the United States, a young woman student went to the teachers of the Bible school and said to them: 'I want you to lay hands on me that I may receive the Holy Spirit according to the New Testament pattern.' Well, they didn’t believe that that would result with speaking in tongues but they did what she asked and she spoke with tongues. And that, in a sense, broke through with the truth of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Then in 1904 in Azuza Street, Los Angeles, there came the celebrated visitation there. There had been some previous indications of the outpouring of the Spirit. Primarily, as a matter of fact, in Armenia. Interestingly enough, at the end of the last century. But anyhow, you can say basically the latter rain began to fall the beginning of the present century. And it has been a visitation that ultimately has come to affect the entire church.

In the course of the 90 years that have elapsed, basically there is no country and there is no section of the church which has not had some kind of supernatural visitation of the Holy Spirit. I believe this is the latter rain. I don’t believe it’s the fulfillment of the latter rain. I believe that much more is yet to come. But we need to bear in mind always in the spiritual, as in the natural the rain is given for the purpose of the harvest. And if you don’t grasp that, you’re going to miss the purpose of God for your life.

See, I’ve been in the Pentecostal movement basically 50 years. Whether you call them Pentecostals, Charismatics or whatever you want to call them. Or just fanatics! You know, if they belong to your church they’re Charismatics. If they belong to another church they’re fanatics. But anyhow, whatever you call them, there are two kinds. There are those that have understood the reason for the outpouring. And there are those that haven’t. And the ones that haven’t just form little spiritual bless me clubs and get together and talk deep spiritual truth and have very profound Bible studies. They meet on Sunday morning, shake hands with one another as they pass and say: 'God bless you,brother; see you next Sunday.' And they’re just little spiritual cliques, that really make no significant impact on the people around them.

And then there are the others who realize what the rain is given for, the harvest. And they’re usually not highly qualified or specially educated or intelligent but they’ve just had enough sense to realize that the rain is given for the sake of the harvest to gather in souls into the Kingdom of God. And they’ve gone out and turned nations upside down. It’s not a difference in their capacity. It’s a difference in their understanding of God’s purpose. So I want to say with all the emphasis at my command: remember the rain is given for the sake of the harvest. It’s not given to make you super-spiritual or specially blessed. It’s given to make you an effective worker in God’s harvest.
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