It was Sunday morning, February 11th when I awoke from a strange sleep. In my sleep, I had seen words from the Lord. I could only see two words.
The first word that I saw was, “Zechariah 10.” Then, the word “NOW!” This happened more than once. I had no idea what was in that chapter. As you can imagine, I was very eager to read it that morning.
I saw other words too. The other words that I saw were in the background. They were “Zechariah 1-3.” Although, this was not emphasized so much. This was subdued, coming across as a secondary message.
It seemed in my spirit that it was almost as though this was already happening and obvious to most of His people. Indeed, Zechariah 1-2 are what we wrote about in our last study, the study on the unusual moons of 2018. Zechariah 3 continues the same message as the first two, with an emphasis on 2018 being the time for a change of garments including being clothed with new clean garments, speaking of a covering of righteousness, and a new head covering, speaking of a new mind.
This third chapter emphasizes moving into the role of priests. That is the role of ministering the life of God to the people and interceding with God for the people. It is the role of a mediator, the role of Christ. This third chapter is prophetic of His people beginning to move in this role in a new way with the mind of Christ.
It was in this context that the message of Zechariah 10 was flashing like a beacon. It is a word for NOW! This is the chapter that we will focus on. Let’s read it carefully, then summarize it. It contains just 12 verses.
“Ask from Yahweh rain in the season of the former rain AND THE LATTER RAIN. Yahweh is making the storm-clouds, and a downpour of rain shall He give to them, to each man, herbage in the field.” – Zechariah 10:1 Concordant Version of the Old Testament
The spring rains came to soften the ground for planting. Then, there were fall rains to ripen the crops right before the final harvest. These are the early and latter rains.
There are many facets of wonderful truth found in the shadows and types of the former and latter rains. We note, however, that here the early rain is referred to as “the former rain.” This points out that Zechariah receives this word from God after the early rain.
Next, we notice that the gathering clouds tell us that Zechariah receives this word right as the latter rain is about to begin. This timing is important, for it is the timing of the message. It is the prophetic message for “now.”
This word is about what is to transpire in the time of the latter rain. It speaks also that it is going to make a noticeable difference upon the earth. It is “now!”
What do these two rains represent? In general, the former rain is a symbol of the first work of Christ. This is the Passover work (Salvation) so that He could send His Spirit into us as the Pentecost work to soften our hearts. The purpose of His resurrection-ascension was to send His Spirit into man so that we could be changed in nature from the inside-out.
Both the Passover and Pentecost works were in the spring. Together, they speak of the first work of Christ. Please see Lesson 10 for a greater explanation.
The two spring feasts were a foretaste of the first small harvests of barley, followed by wheat. They were the foretaste of a much bigger harvest of all else later. This early rain in the natural was a type of the outpouring of His Spirit at the beginning of this age about 2,000 years ago.
The latter rains were sent to speedily ripen the fruit of the final ingathering at the time of Tabernacles. We are living now in the time of entering into the final harvest of this age. We are witnessing the beginning of this rain of His Spirit to change the governments of the world into ones who are ruling under His Kingdom rule.
We are witnessing the expansion of the Kingdom government as the governments of man either crumble or submit to the King of Kings. Within the United States, we see both going on at the same time. We witness the deterioration of the corrupt government of man. The tares are being gathered. In contrast, we witness the raising up of more of His people to run the government with a rod of iron in righteousness.
This first verse exhorts us to cry out to God for this latter rain, followed by the promise that He is in the process of sending more. The timing is prophetic of today, of NOW! This cry to God was never so intense as in 2016. The latter rains began to be evident at the end of that year.
This continual asking and thanking of the Lord for the latter rain is a four-fold cry:
1. The cry of God’s people humbling ourselves by admitting that it is our ways and neglect of His ways that have gotten us in trouble.
2. The cry of God’s people seeking His face by needing to hear from Him as never before.
3. The cry of God’s people praying by restoring their relationship to Him into the first place.
4. The cry of God’s people turning from their wicked ways by grace through faith.
When this genuine asking of God to send His Spirit is done, then, He answers in three ways:
1. He hears our prayers.
2. Then, He forgives our sins.
3. Then, He heals our land.
This is all found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. All of this is an awesome sight to behold today as it all grows and becomes more obvious. It can be seen in three ways:
- Individually within us.
- As a corporate body.
- On Earth.
We are witnessing the healing of our land in all realms right now! Continuing on in Zechariah, we read:
“Household gods give false advice, fortune-tellers predict only lies, and interpreters of dreams pronounce comfortless falsehoods. So my people are wandering like lost sheep, without a shepherd to protect and guide them. My anger burns against your shepherds, and I will punish these leaders. For the LORD Almighty has arrived to look after his flock of Judah. He will make them strong and glorious, like a proud warhorse in battle. From Judah will come the cornerstone, the tent peg, the battle bow, AND ALL THE RULERS. They will be like mighty warriors in battle, trampling their enemies in the mud under their feet. Since the LORD is with them as they fight, they will overthrow even the horsemen of the enemy.” – Zechariah 10:2-5 (NLT)
God was and still is, very angry with those who have kept His people from further truth. They did not speak for God, nor represent Him. Even now it is the same. They were running a religious business.
Today, it is still common. It is done using tax deductions as part of the lure in their business plans. In setting that up, they are submitting to the limiting preaching guidelines of the civil government.
Worse yet, for their supporters, the giving has an attached motive to gain a financial benefit. This is a sure way to dull one’s ability to hear from God. It is a mixture of good and evil. It is of the wrong tree.
These shepherds are the very ones who have not protected and guided God’s people to understand and grow in the ways of Christ. They have given false advice, lies, and “comfortless falsehoods” which speak of “gloom and doom” preaching. More is told about these false shepherds in the last part of Zechariah 11.
This focus on generating fear is in direct contrast to an exhortation to trust that the Lord loves them, is in charge, and has a glorious plan for those ready to enter the promised land of Christ. These shepherds are already being judged. There is a move of the people away from these shepherds.
At the same time, God is building His true Church, true Bride, and true Temple. This passage speaks first of judgment on the confusing, erroneous religious systems of man, then, of the blessing upon His people. The tares are dealt with first, then, there is a convergence of Light as the wheat is gathered together.
It is both the time of shaking (storm clouds) and the time of the latter rain of His Spirit. He arrives to be our shepherd. He becomes our sure foundation, the one who secures our covering, and the one who equips us for the battles we face. That is all part of the former rain.
Now, as part of the latter rain, He is raising up His people with His authority to become rulers. The time is now. So, how do we witness this?
We are now hearing more directly from His Spirit as never before. We are not turning to a person to lead us as we did formerly. We have discovered that there is limited or no life in that.
It was helpful in our early walk, but we are now turning directly to the Lord and hearing Him for ourselves. We have come out of a dependency on those religious systems. Yet, when we came out we were not being deceived, backsliding, rebellious, or scattered “to die” as implied we would by the intimidating false leaders.
We are instead being gathered together by His Spirit in growing numbers outside the systems of man. We are not forsaking the assembling together with those who are moving onward and upward in Christ. The Light is converging in the power of God’s love.
One way that His Spirit is connecting us is seen in the ever-growing prayer movements that are outside church programs. There are prayer conference calls and independent, impromptu prayer meetings popping up with more forming all of the time. They are growing in numbers.
The Body is being connected to the Head. His Life is flowing in His people in many ways. God is hearing our cries.
We plainly see in the third verse that the cornerstone, the tent peg, and the battle-bow are all prophetic of Christ Jesus the Head.
He is the cornerstone of the Temple that we are. He is the tent peg for the house that is His. He is the battle-bow in the cloud of saints.
The part that says “many rulers” is prophetic of Christ the Body. These are the kings under the King of kings. These are the kingdom of priests under the High Priest.
This prophecy is speaking of the former rain AND the latter rain. The enemies will be trampled in the mud. The mud is where they are.
Here is the rest of the chapter:
“I will strengthen Judah and save Israel [“the house of Joseph” in footnote]. I will reestablish them because I love them. It will be as though I had never rejected them, for I am the Lord their God, who will hear their cries. The people of Israel [“house of Ephraim” in footnote] will become like mighty warriors and their hearts will be happy as if by wine. Their children, too, will see it all and be glad, their hearts will rejoice in the LORD. When I whistle to them, they will come running, for I have redeemed them. From the few that are left, their population will grow again to its former size.
Though I have scattered them like seeds among the nations, still they will remember me in distant lands. With their children, they will survive and come home again to Israel. I will bring them back from Egypt and Assyria and resettle them in Gilead and Lebanon. There won’t be enough room for them all. They will pass safely through the sea of distress, [or “the sea of Egypt,” referring to the “Red Sea” in footnote], for the waves of the sea will be held back. And the waters of the Nile will become dry. The pride of Assyria will be crushed, and the rule of Egypt will end. I will make my people strong in my power and they will go wherever they wish by my authority. I, the LORD, have spoken!” – Zechariah 10:6-12 (NLT)
There was a “scattering,” but the latter rain is the time of “gathering.” Once again, we see the pattern of judgment upon those who oppress God’s people and at the same time a raising-up with a blessing upon His people. There is, of course, much more to be seen here, but for now, we need to conclude with an overview.
In summary, the background message of Zechariah 1-3 is:
1. The enemies of God will be put in their place.
2. The people of God will be blessed and come into their calling as priests.
3. The witness of this will spark a massive, global coming to Christ Jesus.
In summary, the message of Zechariah 10 is:
1. The latter rain of His Spirit is beginning and growing.
2. The move of repentance, prayer, and love of Jesus is increasing.
3. The enemies of God are beginning to be subdued.
4. The “Church Age” as we have known it is over.
5. The “Kingdom Age of the Son” has begun.
6. There is a restoration of God’s people to rule the land on all the earth in Christ.
7. This plan of God is much bigger than we could have imagined.
8. We are witnessing this prophecy unfolding NOW!
By Eric and Mary Ellis
Posted as a blog entry on bibleconcepts.com.