Based on the promise in Joel 2:23, Pastor MacGuire considers God's desire to pour out the promised blessings upon His people, their lack of preparation, the delay that comes as a result, the call for Christian perfection and how that perfection that opens the floodgates for the promised rain will be achieved.
Deuteronomy 11:13-14 (NKJV) 13 "‘And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil."
Joel 2:23 (NKJV) 23 "Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you— The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month."
Zechariah 10:1 (NKJV) 1 Ask the LORD for rain In the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain,
Grass in the field for everyone."
James 5:7-8 (NKJV) 7 "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand."
His coming has been delayed! We have primary responsibility for the delay. We must learn what God would have us do.
We are too occupied with other things and thus not taking the time to learn the plans He reveals in His Word.
The early rain messages will cause many to join the church, but this blessings does not constitute the latter rain, for the latter rain only comes when a Christ-like character has been developed.
We must become enlightened relative to our condition and need and seek to fully meet God's expectations. Then, and only then will the latter rain fall.
Rebuke relative to our condition comes because God loves us and wants to instruct us on the life that we have been called to.
Here we learn about the conditions specified in God's word for the latter rain. Such learning will then lead to pleading and agonizing with God for ourselves and for others relative to the preparation.
How did the early disciples prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit? What do we learn from their experience about the way in our day of preparing for the latter rain?
Only those who received the early rain will receive the latter rain. This includes living up to the light that God has given us.
God calls us to be perfect, to overcome every besetment. How is this possible? Let us seek Christlike perfection of character!
Those who live at the close of probation will have certainly met the standard of character required.
Finally, we consider the provision God has made for achieving perfection of character, and the need to quickly prepare for the promised showers.
This article, published in the Review and Herald in 1897 is exceedingly helpful on the same subject matter. I have listed some key points at the beginning of the article, and highlighted some.