Interpretation: Sheets of Rain
  by Lee Y. Martin, Ph.D.,©2000
   
 

As the account of this vision was reported to me, I intuited that it was a message from our Father to His children in India, even to the people in the very locale Jeannette and I had visited the month before it came on June 6th. Confirmation that it was indeed for India and explanation of its meaning was not revealed until several days after the vision's reception. I needed some outside information, which I was not privy to through normal news channels. The very moment this information came to my attention, however, I discerned that not only was the vision for India, but also to Christians everywhere and was an endtime message to His people.

 
Its contents were twofold:
  1) there was a command embedded in the visual picture Jeannette saw, and
  2) there was a comforting message for Christians enduring persecution be it direct or indirect.
 
 

The Command

   
 
Prologue
The commandment from the Lord was an exhortation to raise up a standard against the enemy, which they were about to do in this area of India two days hence from the giving of the vision.
 

This means the vision came prior to the actual raising of the standard, and even though they, themselves would not receive the vision's message until weeks later, it was God's tacit approval of their battle plans. Given that the vision predated their war plans, it is safe to assume that the message embedded in this visitation was truly from God and uncontrived by the prophetess.

  Isa 59:19
  19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. KJV1 
   

Because the vision's contents was not known to the people before they lifted the standard at the instigation of the Holy Spirit, and because we know that fasting with prayer is a most formidable spiritual weapon, we can deduce that this visitation provided a prophetic word from God for all Christians everywhere and that the action taken by the Indians in this area of India is God's central and strategic battle plan in defeating His arch enemy, satan. Here is the account of what happened to bring forth the vision.

   
 

The Elephant's Wounded Knee

To better understanding the interpretation of this vision the reader must know something about Jeannette's and my visit to the southeastern section of India near the populous area of Chennai (or Madras). Jeannette was commissioned by God to go pray for these people individually and collectively giving them prophetic words as the Lord willed. God blessed her efforts with power and her prophetic words were received with elation and many positive responses. My mission was to encourage and exhort the people there to continue taking ground from satan without fear or trepidation. Notwithstanding the ubiquitous (ever-present) control of demons in India, the Lord specifically instructed me to tell the people about their authority as Christians over demonic spirits.

  I was somewhat puzzled about the selection of Biblical topics because there are many other topics of categorical doctrine, which seem more important such as those leading people into holiness without which no man can see the Lord. Also, evangelism is the great commission and would seem more appropriate to talk about with people who are surrounded by idolaters and who have no seminary and little if any Bible school training. Nevertheless, the authority of the believer was the refrain I kept hearing from the Lord prior to our visit to India.
 

It was gratifying to learn that the pastors' conference meetings and several three-day crusades in surrounding villages genuinely ministered to the people and was a welcome enlargement of their Biblical knowledge, both the prophetic demonstrations of Jeannette and the categorical teaching I brought. Interesting to me was the fact that most of the people with whom we came into contact had not heard in a concentrated form Scriptures showing them the extent of their authority over demons and how necessary it is not only to know about it, but also to use it to hold back the enemy in order to get out the gospel message. Scatter shooting with a pistol is not as effective in dislodging the enemy as is point blank zeroing in on a target with multiple warheads.

This teaching was not what the devil wanted them to hear, because in less than a week after we left, the surrounding area where we were ministering experienced bomb blasts in several churches. I am convinced that it was to intimidate Christians to back off and stop advancing in enemy territory. Fear is a great intimidator. We have been informed that as many as six bombs have been detonated, the first of which was only six days after our departure and in a large denominational church a couple of blocks away from the compound of our residence. When I heard about the persecution, I immediately knew the reason the Lord wanted me to point out the Scriptures showing what great authority Christians have over evil spirits and how to exercise it. The devil knows that if the church ever learns the extent of the power she has, he has no way to counter it.

 
Luke 10:19-20
 

19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

20 Not withstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

If this promise in Luke only applies to the 70 disciples Jesus sent out during His ministry under the old covenant, then believers in the New Testament don't have as good a covenant as those in the old one. I cannot accept that. Paul informs us we have a better covenant today with much greater blessings.

  Heb 8:6
  6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
  Rom 5:17
  17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

Paul uses the refrain "much more" 17 times in his letters and 5 times in this one chapter of Romans alone, and our Lord Jesus used it 5 times Himself. The implication of these "better" and "much more" terminologies means that Christians in the Church Age are far and away more blessed and empowered to do exploits in the name of Jesus than believers in the Old Testament.

As believers who are positionally seated with Jesus on the right hand of God [Ephesians 2:6], we are Jesus' bodily extension on the earth and can do what Jesus says we can do as per His teachings written down in the Bible. In the above verse, Jesus said we have power [the Greek word is "exousia" meaning authority] over ALL the mighty explosive power [the Greek word is dunamis meaning dynamite power] of the enemy and nothing would hurt us. Why, then, are Christians unable to cast out demons? It all depends upon our constant dwelling in His Word, as did our forefather David, and our ability to take Him at His Word. Read the entire 119th Psalm and learn how much David loved God's Word. This is why in spite of how many times he committed terrible sins, God protected him. The Bible speaks of him as a man after God's very own heart [Acts 13:22]. David loved God's Word with his entire being and gave it first place in his life, and God loved David with His entire being and gave him first place in ruling for Him in the earth.

 
John 15:7
  7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Does God lie? I think not. So what's the problem?

In the Greek language "if" has several meanings. If and it's true, if and it's not true, if and it's potential - maybe yes and maybe no. In the above verse "if" is potential implying that some people will and some people won't abide in Jesus' words. Abiding connotes living in a place constantly. Therefore, we can say that we have ability to ask and receive from God what we ask according to the measure that we live in Jesus' words, according to the measure that the Word of God governs our life. A daily 10 or 15 minute devotional reading of the Bible or occasionally studying the Scriptures is not abiding in, or living in Jesus' words. That person is an infrequent visitor to God's dwelling, and that person will not be able to develop confidence that the Word will "work" for him. It is confidence that brings the power of God's Word on the scene.

 
1 John 3:20-22
 

20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

In verse 20 we see that God knows whether or not we have confidence in His Word. In verse 21 we find that we cannot have confidence if there is unaddressed sin in our lives. We must bring it up for discussion, acknowledge and confess it, and get it out of the way. Finally, verse 22 tells us that we receive what we ask because we hearken - hear and do - the things we have learned through study of the Word that please God. Since Jesus is the Word of God, abiding in Jesus as per John 15:7 is equivalent to constantly dwelling in His Word. When we do, we will know what displeases God and hence have greater opportunity to stay out of sin and perpetually live in the secret place of the most high where we are protected [Psalm 91:1ff]. There are many Scriptures of similar content telling us God is a "shield" to all who fear Him and walk uprightly [Psalm 3:3; 33;20; 91:4; Proverbs 30:5; et al].

   
 

The Power That Binds

  Eph 3:20
  20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, ["Worketh" is a present participle in the Greek and means "being effective." It means the power that is constantly being effective in us and has reference to the amount of faith that has been developed to produce confidence that God will hear our prayers. Faith is therefore an integral component of producing the power at work within us.]

The problem is that believers have not taken time to ponder the Scriptures revealing our power, thus, faith is lacking to bring them to pass. It is incumbent upon - moreover vital - that each believer spends time meditating in the Word of God, developing faith in the above message because as I have so often said, one does not build a house in the middle of a storm. Does not Ephesians 3:20 tell us that God "...is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh (which is at work) in us?" In other words, the power generated within us will be directly proportional to that which we have developed over time through study of God's Word. The Holy Spirit is our power source, but we are told that He has been sent to help us, not to do the work in our stead. The word Jesus used to tell us about the person whom He was sending to take His place with them was Comforter. The Greek word for Comforter is "paraclete" which means "one coming along side to help us with whatever we do." When we move, He moves. When we act, He acts.

Given that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" [Romans 10:17], we can grow or develop our faith. Paul commended the Thessalonians in his second letter to them for their exceedingly growing faith [1:3]. So if faith comes by hearing, then it comes... and, if it comes, we can get more and more of it. Faith comes and is developed by hearing God's Word, listening to it speak to you, not making it say what you want it to say. This is how the power in us develops for the purpose of spiritual warfare. As our faith grows, the Holy Spirit power source has more to work with in helping us do God's work here. Hence, teaching on the faith message is a necessary corollary to teaching about our power position over demonic spirits.

   
 

Prideful Power vs Humble Power

I felt it was necessary to press the point to these precious saints that power is given to believers to become effective witnesses to the gospel as per Acts 1:8, and for the control of demonic elements that would hinder the propagation of the good news of Jesus having reconciled us to God. Power is not given for the sake of self-aggrandizement, but for the sake of crystallizing one's faith in Jesus. Paul clearly taught that power is important for establishing Christians in the faith as well as propagating the gospel [1 Corinthians 2:4; Galatians 3:2-5]. Furthermore, Jesus warned in Luke 10:20 above not to rejoice over the fact that demons are subject to out authority over them through His name, but to rejoice because we are saved and our names are written in heaven. The authority of the believer and the faith message were therefore twin topics that I presented to the people, both of which have had less treatment in past teaching sessions by visitors than evangelism and holiness.

I believe that this doctrinal teaching was for this time and hour because God knew in advance that the attacks by the "isms" of religion would immediately follow our departure from India. I am confident that a nerve was touched in the spiritual realm. India has been plagued with demonic spirits since the days of the Babel dispersion and even further back than that - since the days of Cain. Because they are so entrenched, they are not going to give ground without a tremendous fight. When believers learn how to forthrightly, confidently, and authoritatively use their Spiritual sword like Jesus did, the devil will have to yield territory. That is the essence of this vision.

   
 

The Ripe Harvest

The massive elephant depicts the monolithic idolatrous system of the nation of India. The large gash in the right knee of the elephant indicates that this system has been wounded. Indeed, observant people are witnessing a large revival going on worldwide, which is tearing down the trees of idolatry [Deuteronomy 16:21,22] and bringing in the grain harvest of God's field.

  Rev 14:15
  15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
  Matt 13:38-39
 

38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

Jesus said in Matthew 13:38 that the field is the world and in 13:39 the harvest is the end of the world (or age - Greek is aion). The word "ripe" in the original Greek text in Revelation 14:15 is the word for "dry". This means that the harvest of souls must be gotten in or it will be lost. Most orthodox scholars of the Bible agree that we are in the last days of the Church Age, and hence the harvest is dry and being reaped even now. I believe that this is the reason we are seeing so many people all over the world receive Jesus as their savior. The Scripture foretells that at the very end millions and millions of people will be harvested into the Kingdom of God in a few short years just prior to the Rapture of the Church. Then, afterward, an innumerable number of people will forfeit their lives in the Tribulational Period [Revelation 7:14]. Having heard the Word they wait too late to choose to serve God in order to become part of the grain harvest at the end of the Church Age. Thus they miss out on our elopement with Jesus [1 Thessalonians 4:17].

I suggest that the Church Age harvest period overlaps the Tribulational Period harvest of souls and is inclusive of millions being reaped at the harvest end of the interrupted Jewish Age [Daniel 9:27; Jeremiah 30:7]. Therefore, the Church Age harvest and the Jewish Age harvest are both part of the great endtime harvest season prior to the setting up of the Kingdom of heaven and are coterminous but having one big distinction. Those in the Church Age harvest become part of the bride of Christ, while those in the Tribulational Jewish Age harvest miss out on this privilege because they waited too late to repent and serve Jesus. This is why the Bible warns in several places about the door to the marriage supper in heaven being shut leaving some believers who were not ready outside without recourse to escape their fait accompli, the irreversible fact that they missed out on being in the bride of Christ.
 
 

The Gash Cuts Deep

The deep gash in the elephant's knee was caused by the gospel message of Jesus having penetrated into the religious system of India. While there, we saw scores of people turn to Jesus. It's reception by millions is causing the tough, hard hide of the giant animal to tear apart. Truth has a way of doing that. It cuts deep and causes one to hurt and bleed when deception is exposed and the hidden things of darkness surface. Error might reign for a season, but in the end truth will prevail.

Others may not see a significance of the gash being on the right knee of the elephant as opposed to the left knee, but I find it interesting because it indicates to me what caused the wound and what it will take to destroy this Goliath. In developmental psychology we used to teach - I assume they still do - that the right and left sides of the body motor skills are controlled by the opposite hemisphere of the brain. If this still holds true, then I believe that there is significance attached to the fact that the elephant in the vision was shown to be wounded in his right knee and not his left. The gash in the knee implies impairment of the animal's ability to walk. There was a restraint of his right leg to function normally. Given that the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right motor skills, we can infer that something on the left side of the animal's mentality caused the gash in the right knee, which wounded the elephant to the point of becoming immobile. Because the visionary did not see the source of the wound, and because visions are spiritual, we must assume an invisible cause. Spiritual things are not discernible by the physical senses of men, so we can only surmise what caused the rip in the elephant's flesh.

Given that visions and dreams are intangible ethereal phenomena, and given that a physically discernible cause of the wound was not seen, we must assume it was a spiritual source that successfully impaired the giant animal if there is a message here from God. Having addressed the fact that the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right side of the body's motor skills, I believe that the spiritual source that caused the wound came from the left side of India. Looking at a map, Madras, or Chennai, is located on the eastern side of the country where we went. If the elephant depicts the nation of India with its worship of animals, then facing the Goliath as one would face a map, the left side of the animal's brain would represent the eastern part of the country.

I believe the vision was given to Jeannette because we had just visited India and ministered to the people in this area encouraging them in their selfless work for the Lord. The exhortations we brought to them were in the realm of helping them understand more fully about how to break the yokes of bondage to satan and demons. The vision indicates that God's people are on the right path in learning how to use their delegated authority over demonic spirits because it is this knowledge which dispels fear and enables believers to move forward in promoting the Kingdom of God. This was the essence of the message the Lord had me take to the people where we visited. It is my contention that this is the means by which the giant elephant will be wounded and eventually destroyed. Knowledge of one's authority is what gives a believer courage and boldness to face the enemy knowing that the Lord has set His throne in the heavens and He rules over all the kingdoms of the earth [Psalm 103:19]. If we follow the Biblical patterns, commandments, and principles, we will be the victors in any skirmish with the enemy. This is the one thing the enemy does not want Christians to hear because it develops confidence and trust in the Word of God , which pleases our Father and protects us.

   
 

The Elephant Attendee

The attendant to the elephant was trying frantically to help the wounded animal, but found himself unsuccessful in assuaging the bleeding with water from a hose. Because he was dressed in traditional Indian attire, he represents the radical groups of the nation, that do not want the good news of Jesus nor His soon coming Kingdom to penetrate and dislodge the hold that idolatry has on their country. They are the ones setting off bombs in churches and even mosques because they do not want change. The water the attendee was using suggests damage control in the use of terrorist activity. He was attempting to put out the truth cutting into the elephant's hide. The old guard of this ancient system is resisting the New Age Christ. Indeed, the Christ (or the Antichrist) of the coming Kingdom(s) will change old laws and customes.2

The attendee representing India's old idolatrous system has hindered her from tapping into her greatest asset - her people. Without change and without widespread education reaping human potential in a technological world is virtually impossible. Spiritually it can be done but at great cost, because it is impossible to see the hidden forces of darkness masquerading as truth, which are engulfing the world. When "judgment is turned away backward (perverted), and justice standeth afar off; ...truth is fallen in the streets, and equity (righteousness) cannot enter" [Isaiah 59:14]. Idolatry chokes human potential, limits and stymies it, and becomes repressive and regressive as populations explode. The elephant must die for India to reach her potential in a global society. The Bible teaches that knowledge of the truth sets people free [John 8:32], so sooner or later, truth will cut deep enough to reach the heart of the Goliath and he will keel over as we saw in the vision. Attempts to preserve the old animal's life are futile, for we know from Scripture that ultimately the elephant is doomed.

  Dan 7:13-14
 

13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

 

 

Jesus is the Son of Man in the above passage and we see that He has been given an everlasting dominion, a kingdom that will not be destroyed. God's counsel will stand as spoken and nothing is able to stop it. Although His Kingdom is invisible now, it will soon manifest at Jesus' return. The vision indicates that the old elephant and its idolatrous system will fade away, for Jeannette saw the man and the animal diminish in size and disappear. She heard the death cry of an unstoppable demise of doomed devils [Matthew 25:41]. The harvest is being reaped and demons behind godless idols are being dislodged in the minds of people everywhere. What is causing this carnage that's pulling down strongholds? We see it in the vision - the rain - sheets of rain coming down from heaven.
   
 
Comfort For The Field Workers
The Harvest Cycle
It is generally accepted that Israel is a chosen nation created by God out of one man's (Abraham's) faithful obedience. Through this nation God reveals Himself, His purposes, and His plans. Israel was selected to be set apart from other nations
 

in order to be used to illustrate spiritual realities via natural means. Israel's judicial system testifies as to what pleases or displeases God and her behavior is God's benchmark denoting what constitutes good and evil in His eyes. In short, Israel's entire history is replete with object lessons teaching about spiritual things through natural means, i.e., shadow types. One of the most prominent teaching tools inherent in Israel's culture is her harvest cycle.

From April to October in Israel it normally does not rain and the earth becomes parched and hard. Agricultural processes cannot start until the earth is softened up in the fall season so that seed planting can begin for the next year's harvest. The rainy autumn season covers the entire land and causes the seeds to germinate. It is called the former rain in Scripture because it comes first in the harvest cycle. Throughout the winter when plants are dormant there is patchy, intermittent rain in various locations. The latter rain in the spring is a universal one blanketing the whole country and causes the plants to mature. It comes in greater quantities and falls more often than the former rains because plants and vegetation need substantial amounts of water to grow.

The Bible references the harvest in various terms depending upon what is being harvested. Generally speaking the first harvest is barley in the spring, then wheat, and later on crops and fruit of all kinds with the grapes harvested last. At the end of the growing season after all crops have been harvested, the Jews were commanded by God to celebrate their prosperous agricultural season with the thanksgiving Feast of Tabernacles, the most joyous feast of the seven feasts of Jehovah. What is important to know for this vision regarding the harvest season is its former and latter rain pattern. God gives the rain for the sake of the harvest. Remember this - the rain is given for the sake of the harvest.

It's no secret that prior to Israel's return to the land of Palestine in this century, the area was a barren wilderness. Mark Twain attests to this when he visited Palestine at the turn of the twentieth century and wrote about its desolation in scathing terms. For centuries there had been no former nor latter rain to quench the wilderness. Quite by design and not by accident, God withheld the rain from this land when the Jews went into worldwide dispersion at Jerusalem's fall in 70 AD. Why? I believe that it is because the land belongs to the people God gave it to, Israel, and when it was taken away from them, God put the land in wraps until their return.

  2 Chron 7:19-20
 

19 But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;

20 Then will I pluck them (the Israelites) up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.

   Joel 3:2
  2I (I) will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

After the Jews' dispersion, the land experienced weather changes that kept it from becoming the luscious garden that its soil is capable of creating. It has been attested that it is probably the most fertile soil in the whole world. It was as if God said that until my people return, nothing shall thrive much less prosper. For almost 2,000 years, this was the case. Beginning with Zionism at the turn of the century and intensifying in 1948 when Israel became a nation, as the Jews began returning to the area called Palestine in ever greater numbers, the weather cycle experienced another unusual phenomenon. As the Jews returned, the rains returned too in almost exact proportion to the number of returning exiles! As the people increased, so did the rain! Glory! Hallelujah! What a witness concerning who owns the land. It's God's land and He will give it to whomsoever He will.

  Ex 33:19
 

19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

  Gen 35:12
  12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee (Jacob, i.e., Israel) I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.

So we can see spiritual implications regarding the rains in Israel. But again, remember the battle cry, the rains are given by God for the sake of the harvest.

  Deut 11:13-14
 

13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,

14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.

We see, therefore, from the above passage that the rain is given at the proper time of the harvest season for the sake of the harvest. The former rain to soften the soil and scatter the seed, and the latter rain to mature and bring in the harvest. It couldn't be more clear that God gives the rain for the sake of the harvest. How does this relate to the vision?

   
 

Rivers of Living Water

  John 4:7-13
 

7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink...

9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

  John 7:38-39 
 

38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

From the above Scriptures we see that the Holy Spirit is referred to as living water and whoever receives Jesus will be given this living water when they ask for it as per John 4:10 above and Luke 11:13 - "...How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?". One must understand that the Holy Spirit is symbolized in Scripture in several ways - water, oil, fire, and a dove to name a few. Since literal water does not come out of a man's belly, the water spoken of in the passage quoted above must be spiritual water. In fact, the only thing appropriate coming out of a human from his stomach area are sounds and words. Jesus said that "...the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" [John 8:63]. Hence, words are spiritual and very powerful. Little do we know just how powerful they are. If we did, we would put a lock on our mouths and ask God to guard our lips as David did [Psalm 141:3]. "Death and life are in the power of the tongue..." [Proverbs 18:21]. Pheuuuu! That's enough to show the importance of what comes out of our mouths.

   
 

Could Tongues Be Living Water?

We know that when the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost, there was an unusual event accompanying His coming. The believers baptized saw tongues of fire lighting upon them and they began to speak in other languages called in the Greek text different or strange (heterous) tongues. The Bible clearly shows in the second chapter of Acts that the people baptized spoke in languages they did not understand by the power of the Holy Ghost. A careful reading of the chapter indicates that this odd experience of speaking in strange tongues was the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy foretelling that when God pours out His Holy Spirit upon people, they will prophesy and speak in new tongues. Jesus Himself said as much:

 
Mark 16:17
 
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

This is not the time nor place to justify tongues as a bonafide activity of believers today. Whether or not one accepts it as still operative, if one harmonizes the Scriptures, the Bible clearly points to a spiritual connection between tongues and the former and latter rains of the physical harvest season.

Hosea prophesies Jesus' two advents here. The former rain is His "going forth" or His first coming as Savior of the world, and the latter rain is His Second Coming or Advent as Judge of all the earth. He comes as (or like) the rain of the harvest cycle, twice, with a season of separation between His Advents when He is gone for a period of time.

 
James 5:7
 
7 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.

James tells us here that our Lord is coming a second time but we must wait for Him with patience because it is God's will that a spiritual harvest of souls be forthcoming before His return, which harvest is to follow and unfold according to His imposed and decreed seasonal ordinances. We learn from the above that there will be a latter spiritual rain similar to the rain of the harvest cycle.

History records that during the first century, believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and manifested powerful gifts in every church congregation without exception. They are given for the sake of the church and the edification of the body of Christ. Notwithstanding their demise after the first century or two, in every century thereafter, there are historical accounts of supernatural sporadic spiritual activity somewhere in the world albeit short-lived. Does this not correspond to the intermittent winter localized rains in Israel? The former early rain of the outpouring of Holy Spirit power in the first century softened the hardened soil of unbelief that God is merciful and gracious and loves His creation. This outpouring scattered the seed of the gospel but diminished afterward with only spotty, short-lived, spiritual rains, causing a long dark, dry wintertime in a temporally dead church.

There are historical documents showing that beginning with the Reformation Period an increasing amount of Holy Spirit manifestation of the nine gifts listed in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 was stirring up churches everywhere. Incidences of occasional rain escalated until the set time for the latter heavier rains to begin. Many people think that the latter rain began on the first day of the 20th century when Pentecostalism had a serious revival which spread around the world. As the century progressed the baptism of the Holy Ghost increased, and more and more people admitted to speaking with new tongues. Virtually no denomination is without some charismatic activity. Accepting that rain signifies living water flowing out of a believer's innermost being in the form of speaking in tongues as per John 7:38,39, there is little question that God has been sending the latter rains to mature the harvest and get it ready for reaping. As the world's population grew in the last century, so did charismatic revival of the gifts of the Holy Spirit with the primary gift visibly noticeable being that of speaking in tongues. What was the purpose of this enhanced rain situation? FOR THE SAKE OF THE HARVEST! Remember the battlecry. The greater the outpouring of the Spirit, the richer the harvest reaped. Crops are dependent upon rainfall (or water by irrigation) and little water means less fruit or grain harvested.

   
 

Sheets of Rain

You're probably wondering how all this information about rain and harvesting relates to the vision under scrutiny. There is one last piece of information you need to know about in order to understand why God sent this message to His church. It is our belief that not only is it for Christians in this area of India under enemy attack, but it is also to the entire church body everywhere. Until I learned about the counterattack Indian Christians were making to the bombings in the area I was not able to completely understand the vision.

Because of the gravity of the attacks, Christian leaders in the area called for a day of fasting and prayer. Recall that the vision was given to Jeannette on Thursday. This was two days prior to Saturday, the set day of fasting and prayer called for by Christian leaders in the area. Remember how Esther requested her people to fast and pray for three days before she approached the King to intercede for them, to spare them from annihilation? It worked! The Jews not only survived but also received preferential treatment in the Persian Empire after that. I was ecstatic when I heard that the Christian leaders in the area had called for a day of fasting and prayer regarding these terrorist attacks because I know that this is standard procedure for combating spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies. Nevertheless, I was more excited when told that as many as a million Christians joined in the prayer vigil. Knowing in advance that this would take place, the Lord wanted to document His approval of this time-tested tactical method in battling the enemy by sending this visionary message two days prior to its happening. The communiqué reveals the spiritual consequences of such action. Without this official announcement, 3 the church has no way of knowing how extensive, powerful, and important our prayers are in these last days. The sheets of rain represent the power of torrential rains that a million people can bring forth when corporate prayer is engaged. Fasting enhances the power and the longer the fasting the mightier it becomes.

The full day of prayer was seeking for God's intervention in this dangerous period of spiritual warfare. It pleased the Father and this vision reveals that He has answered in the affirmative. Their prayers have not gone unheeded and the battle is already won in the spiritual realm. The crops will be reaped and millions of souls will be saved. Be patient, therefore, and allow the latter rains to continue to mature the harvest because the elephant is doomed. The vision is an encouragement to carry on with corporate fasting and prayer vigils because it takes enormous firepower to fell an elephant. I would suggest having a prayer vigil of this magnitude regularly. It is important not to give the enemy time to recover from his hit.

Essentially the vision is God's response to their dedicated efforts to follow the Biblical pattern of spiritual warfare. When whole nations or large areas are under attack, Christians must gather together and pray for Holy Spirit power to come forth for the sake of the harvest. Remember that the rain - rivers of water flowing out of our innermost being - is given for the sake of the harvest. We are in the harvest season of the Church Age and Christians everywhere ought to be busy praying for the workers God sends into the fields. Workers are facing great odds in areas such as India, but remember that the greater one is in us. "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world" [1 John 4:4]. Who is this greater one in us? God the Holy Spirit with all the power of the throne of heaven behind us.

Let me encourage you even further to continue spiritual warfare. When the Bible says that one will chase a thousand, and two, ten thousand, those are not the normal doubling of resources. It is a ten-fold supernatural enhancement of our capabilities which reveals why Jeannette saw sheets of rain falling on the giant idolatrous system represented by the elephant. When a million people get together fasting and praying, torrential rains occur. It comes down in sheets because their prayers are effectively offered up to the only all-wise God who created the universe and controls all spiritual entities as He pleases. When we please God by trusting in Him to shield and fight for us, He comes to our defense. Doesn't the Bible say that the battle is the Lord's?

 
1 Sam 17:47
 
47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you (the elephant) into our hands.

David was facing a giant named Goliath, but it mattered not that David was much smaller, because the battle is the Lord's. When entreating God through prayer and fasting to shield us and intercede on our behalf, elephants are mere gnats in God's eyes. When the charge of the elephant comes, just remember that the greater one is in us, and because we are walking by faith and not by sight [2 Corinthians 5:7], we do not have to visibly see the greater one. Boy, how this must please our Father to act as David acted. David was all-alone when he met Goliath but he knew he had to win because he had God's Word that the battle was His.

Consider Abraham. The Bible says that he gave glory to God because he moved out in faith not having any tangible evidence that God was walking with him [Romans 4:20]. But he had God's Word that He would bless him [Genesis 12:1-3]! If it was his lot to be blessed by God, Abraham knew he had His assurance that He would go before him and be his rearguard. "...(Y)e shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard" [Isaiah 52:12]. Are not all these promises and many others for God's people today? According to Paul they are, "for all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God" [2 Corinthians 1:20]. How do we know they are still valid? Jeannette saw the elephant fade away as sheets of rain consumed the vision. This is an appointed season of the harvest cycle and satan cannot stop it.

 
Jer 5:24
 
24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.

Can you see from the above Scripture referring to Israel's harvest season that God reserves a time of spiritual latter rain for His purposes? If someone has a reserved seat at some function or a reserved parking spot in front of a building, no one is allowed to park there but the one for whom it is reserved. The last-days' work of producing spiritual rain for the harvest is unstoppable because the Scriptures prophesy it will happen and God's counsel will stand fast. It is His harvest of souls to complete the body of Christ. So Christians need to go forth in faith fearlessly facing the elephant because he is wounded and cannot do what he would like to do, which is to stop the harvest. Believers need to meditate on these Scriptures until they know without a doubt that God is with them helping them to reap and that they are the victors regardless of how bleak things look at the moment. Little do Christians realize that corporate prayer with fasting has enormous temporal consequences which can change the course of events. We are on the brink of the greatest course change in history because just as soon as all the grain is in the barn, Jesus will come for His bride to take her off the earth in order to cleanse the threshing floor by fire [Isaiah 66:14-16] before setting up His Kingdom.

 

Standards That Shield

It is to the Christians' credit in this area that they have not backed off but rather boldly faced the giant. They have consolidated their position and rallied around the banner that the Holy Spirit prompted them to set up. That banner is the standard Isaiah 59:19 speaks of. "When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." The word "standard" in the Hebrew comes from a primitive root, "nus" which means to cause to flee away, put to flight, or cause to vanish. It denotes rapid movement away from something or someone and implies escape from real or imagined danger according to one Old Testament Hebrew Dictionary. Is that not what Jeannette saw in the vision? The elephant and his attendant vanished behind the sheets of rain. An interesting synonym connotes disorderly retreat in the form of a rout. What we have here in the vision is a definite protective shield in the form of rain between the "old guard" of India and the propagation of the gospel. Jeannette said the sheets of rain did not touch the "old guard," it just vanished away. This implies only a protective barrier at this time defending the workers as they bring in the crops. The elephant's demise was seen as a gradual vanishing process and I contend that total banishment will be at the end of the Tribulation when Jesus cleanses the earth by fire. What field workers need to know now is that we are in God's protective custody when we please Him and our enemies are scattered [Numbers 10:35].

It is obvious that the day of prayer and fasting by these Christian brethren pleased God because this vision is a powerful tribute to their response to the persecutions. Instead of retaliation in like manner as other religious groups did when their facilities were destroyed, Christians took the matter to God. Another word in Hebrew for standard very similar to "nus" is "nes" which means a banner, flag, or signal pole. This standard is to be seen from a distance as a beacon light. It is used for communicating important information, such as a warning in lighthouses, a rallying point where people are drawn together for important decision making and usually is conspicuously displayed. When a million people get together for prayer, it's no secret. Hence, the people were letting the news out that they were entreating Almighty God to intercede on their behalf. What a testimony they gave in showing love rather than retaliation to their enemies. Putting it in God's hands who knows all the facts and can act in love towards our enemies is exactly what a believer ought to do every time he is attacked. The people causing the destruction are not our enemies, it is the demonic spirits instigating them to behave in evil ways that are the enemy. Christians are calling on the name of Jehovah-nissi, the Lord Our Banner when interceding. Since a banner is a standard around which people gather for mutual benefit and protection, believers could not have any better standard than the Holy Spirit who is the one lifting up the standard when the enemy comes in like a flood. The prayers of these people became a beacon light from earth to heaven signaling for help from the Lord. He responded by sending sheets of rain, which are shielding these precious harvest workers from more enemy attacks.

So we see that this is the standard by which Christians are to escape enemy assaults - prayer and fasting, be it corporate or individual. Through prayer the Holy Spirit lifts up a shield protecting us from spiritual wickedness in high places, and when God comes on the scene to battle, men and evil spirits flee. Whatever it is that the Spirit does to dilute the flood of persecution, it is in response to prayer. We are told that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds" [2 Corinthians 10:4]. Indeed, Jeannette heard an explosion in the heavens, which unleashed a deluge of rain. Whatever the container was holding it, the contents were emptied. Having addressed the fact that rain and water connotes the Holy Spirit, we can safely conclude that the Spirit is shielding the propagation of the gospel. The magnitude of the numbers of people praying together on that one Saturday touched the heart of God and "nothing shall by any means hurt you." Since the only thing spiritual that human beings have to fight with are words, fasting with prayer must be the "standard" by which Christians are protected from principalities, powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world [Ephesians 6:12].

   
The Battle Cry
It is my belief that most Christians do not understand why the outpouring of the Holy Spirit with the pervasive tongues phenomenon was decreed to be given in two great seasonal outpourings.
 

The outpouring of living water from our innermost being constitutes the rain of prayers offered up by us with the help of the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

I contend that it is not a power source to pridefully put on a show for personal gain. For this reason, I have taken great effort to explain what the rain is for - to bring in the harvest. Note that the outpouring of the Spirit began at Pentecost and will steadily increase right on up to Jesus' return. It is my hope that the reader of this will use his gift of tongues, if he has it, for the edification and growth of the body of Christ.

I doubt if anyone wants to displease the Father. Yet, Proverbs 10:5 says that a son who sleeps in the harvest causes his father shame. Not only are these troubling words but we live in sobering times. Even if we cannot go into the fields in person, we can work in them in our prayer closet. Praise God that we can have a part in the harvest regardless of whether or not we are called to put our physical hands to a sickle. The anointed prayers of believers is what causes torrential sheets of rain to come down. If this vision has any validity, then it is an encouragement to recognize the magnitude of the task latter day Christians now face. Since Jeannette saw sheets of rain engulf the visual picture, not only is the rainwater being poured out, but it is as if God wants the heavenly water container upended. Is the Father about ready to close the barn door?

Beloved, the fields are ripe for reaping and the crops must be gotten in, for the time of the harvest is here. When produce peaks, farmers perform a quick work in order not to lose their crop to adverse circumstances. The world is quickly being primed for the prophesied endtime Kingdoms, one of Righteousness preceded by one of Wickedness. The light is coming, but so is the darkness [Isaiah 21:12]. "...(B)ehold, the darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the peoples, but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee" [Isaiah 60:2]. The ones who hearken to God's Word after hearing it are the ones upon whom the Lord's glory shall be seen, for they are the ones abiding in Jesus' words and producing much fruit [John 15:8]. They are the workers in the fields bringing in the sheaves. If you keep your eyes upon Jesus and not people and live in His Word, you'll be able to see through the darkness.

Knowledge of God's Word and love of the truth is the only way to make sure that you qualify as a field worker who will be taken off the earth in the Rapture and not one left to enter the tribulation [Matthew 25:40]. When the harvest is finished, the remaining gleanings will have to go through the time of Jacob's trouble although they will be reaped [Revelation 7:13,14]. There's still time to get ready because the Philadelphian door even now remains open [Revelation 3:8]. Anyone desiring to be part of the bride of Christ is eligible. "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" [Romans 10:13; Acts 2:21]. When Jesus comes for His bride, there will be no time to get ready, so keep looking up and not at the world. Guard yourself so that the wicked one touches you not [1 John 5:18]. Our prayer here at WSM is that you will join hearts with us to help get in the harvest and our Lord can come for His bride.

   
 

Footnotes: (click on hightlighted word to return)

1 All Scripture references herein are taken from the King James Bible unless otherwise noted.(Because)

2 It is going to be extremely precarious in these last days for all Christians everywhere because without thorough grounding in the Scriptures, it will be difficult to discern the real Christ from the New Age Antichrist, for both are preaching the same message. (The)

3 Acts 2:17 reports that God has decreed to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh - His servants and handmaidens as well as people in charge of governmental affairs - and the young as well as the old would have visions and dreams carrying messages from God to His people. (the)

 

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Update: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 1:46 PM