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A while ago a Christian friend of mine contacted me and mentioned a song that is sung in his church. The song has the words “the former and the latter rain” as written in the Book of Joel 2:23.
Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God; for He giveth you the former rain in just measure, and He causeth to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, at the first. (Joel 2:23 – Jewish Publication Society)
The chorus of the song goes like this:
Jamin kami di lembah penentuan
Sampai gunung meniriskan anggur baru
Bukit-bukit mengalirkan susu dan madu
Hujan awal dan hujan akhir
Bersatu lahirkan lawatan
Tahun pemulihan, keajaiban telah datang
The translation is of it is here:
Guarantee us in the valley of elimination
Until the mountains produce new vines
And the hills flow with milk and honey
The former and the latter rain
unite to bring His visitation
The years of recovery, the years of miracles have come
My friend heard a pastor preach that the “former rain” represents the spirits of the prophets, the patriarch and the Bible heroes of faith. So when it is sung that the former rain will unite with the “latter rain”, they believe that the spirits of the leaders of the Bible times will work together with the generation in the end times today in order to bring God’s prophesied visitation to earth.
Hmmm… this phone conversation definitely tickled my curiosity. It took me a while until I finally found some time to look into this deeper and turn to my Jewish friends and rabbi’s for confirmation and discussions.
And this is what I found.
The term for “the former and the latter rain” is “moreh (yoreh) and malkosh” which are commonly associated with each other as they are often talked about in the books of the prophets. When there is moreh (yoreh) mentioned, there is also malkosh.
The word “moreh” which here means “former rain” is spelled in the Hebrew language as . Now here comes the interesting part. It is the same word that is used to say male teacher (moreh) while a female teacher is spelled the same as well but pronounced differently – morah.
If we change the first letter (from the right) Mem in to Tav, it becomes this word – . And how do you read this word? It reads TORAH. The person who teaches something is called moreh (male) or morah (female) and the teachings that is being taught is called TORAH. Now the word for the male teacher (moreh) also means “former rain”.
So when God said in Joel 2 that in the end of times He will be pouring out MOREH, prophetically He would mean that He will be giving this world teachers… and not just any teacher, but teachers of the Torah.
Although I am not directly arguing against the pastor above who said that what God meant by the “former rain” are spirits of the Bible heroes, I believe that what God was prophesying is already coming to pass with the rising number of so many Torah teachers for Christians, to turn them back to the Hebrew roots of their faith. This movement transcends geography, church walls, culture and time… wherever you look it is mushrooming all over the world and no matter how hard a church tries to close the door to this movement, there are always members of the congregation that are slowly returning, even when the leaders are not. This can not be not of the work of the Ruach Hakkodesh, the Holy Spirit! Even the Catholic church has been touched by the Hebrew Roots movement now!
However, what my friend’s pastor said about the spirits of the Bible heroes working together with our generation may also be true… who knows. Just as I am writing this article, I am reminded that the Christians believe that there will be two witnesses coming before the Day of the LORD.
It is based on Rev 11:3-6.
Also I will give power to my two witnesses; and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two menorahs standing before the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to do them harm, fire comes out of their mouth and consumes their enemies yes, if anyone tries to harm them, that is how he must die. They have the authority to shut up the sky, so that no rain falls during the period of their prophesying; also they have the authority to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. (Rev 11:3-6 CJB)
The two witnesses are believed to be Moses and Elijah because of the supernatural signs used to authenticate the ministry of the two men of God. Moses turned water into blood and struck the earth with 10 kinds of plague. While Elijah wore sackcloth, shut up the sky so that no rain fell and he also prophesied. It was also these two men who showed up on the Mount of Transfiguration in the times of Yeshua, the Nazarene.
Could it be that the “former rain”, the moreh, the teacher of the Torah… was also a representation of Moses, one of the two witnesses, the one to whom the Torah was given? Whether he will be coming as a spirit of the (supposedly) dead prophet or whether it is only talking about the anointing of a Torah teacher… we don’t know. But we do know that lately the Torah has been a popular subject amongst the nations, even within the church. Maybe the spirit of Moses, the teacher of the Torah is already here?
As for Elijah, he also fits into this picture of the “former and latter rain” and the “two witnesses perfectly”.
And here is how.
The word for “latter rain” in Hebrew is malkosh. The Talmud explains that the word “malkosh” consists of two different words: mal and kosh. “Mal” means to remove and “kosh” means stiff-neckedness. The Talmud quotation reads:
R’ Nehilai ben Idi said in the name of Shmuel: ['Latter rain' is termed] ‘malkosh’ because it is a thing that removes the stiff-neckedness of Israel.
The removal of Israel’s stiff-neckedness is really the softening of their hearts and causing them to repent. Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki (1040-1105), or more popular with the name Rashi, writes:
When Israel sins and does evil, the rain stops. Then they call upon a sage and he inspires them, softening their hearts to repent. (Jerusalem Talmud 1:1)
What can touch the hearts of the a stiff-necked human race… people like you and me too, and change their hearts, to soften it so they may repent… except God Himself…
…and I will give them unity of heart. I will put a new spirit among you. I will remove from their bodies the hearts of stone and give them hearts of flesh… (Eze 11:19 CJB)
…through the Ruach Hakkodesh?
You make it clear that you are a letter from the Messiah placed in our care, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on stone tablets but on human hearts. (2Co 3:3 – Complete Jewish Bible)
Now guess, who the one prophet is, whose supernatural sign known is the softening of the hearts? Was not Elijah prophesied to return in the end of days in order to do just that? He will cause the hearts of the father and the hearts of the children to return to each other… meaning he will soften their hearts!
Look, I will send to you Eliyahu the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible Day of Adonai. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers; otherwise I will come and strike the land with complete destruction.” (Mal 4:5-6 Complete Jewish Bible)
And once again, here, we see the connection. The “latter rain” is something that causes the softening of hearts, the removal of the stiff-neckedness of the people of the earth, particularly Israel… and although the main Actor behind this miracle is the Ruach Hakkodesh, the Holy Spirit, it is Elijah, one of the two witnesses in the Book of Revelation, that will be representing this incredible wave of softening hearts.
So when the lyric of the song (based on Joel 2) said “the former and the latter rain” will unite in order to bring Divine visitation to the earth, what does it REALLY mean?
Imagine if Moses, the moreh, the teacher of the Torah, unites with Elijah, the malkosh, the removal of stiff-neckedness, the softener of hearts through the work of the Holy Spirit…
It is a perfect union between accurate teachings and the pouring of the Holy Spirit! The former and the latter rain is not about double portion blessings in the physical/ financial form as some people have interpreted it. It is about the union of two groups of people, the Christians and the Jews, because these people are exactly who would need the two rains.
The Christians may have received the pouring of the Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts 2, but they are in serious need of the accurate teachings of the Torah. The Christians are followers of Yeshua the Nazarene, a Jew. They adopt the teachings of his 12 disciples and apostles, also Jews. They read the Jewish Bible given to a Jewish leader, Moses. They believe in the prophecies of Jewish prophets written in Jewish books of the prophets. But how can something so Jewish become something so completely Greek? How can all the Jewish festivals be dropped and all the Greek festivals adopted? Where did the Christians make that turn? These people are in serious need of a “former rain”, a morah, teachers of the Torah, so they can return to the point where they took the wrong turn. They need the first witness, Moses.
As I have mentioned in my eBooks, the Torah is not just about boring nitty gritty detailed six hundred and so commandments that we are supposed to follow every day. It is a book full of secret applicable law of the spiritual realm. The physical world knows of the law of gravity. Christians do not violate this law by jumping from the 10th floor of a building, but that does not make them fall from grace now, does it? There are laws like that in the spiritual world and Christians have no clue what they are because they are too afraid to fall “from grace and back under the law”.
The Jews, on the other hand, may already have the accurate teachings of the Torah. They hold the secrets of the law in the spiritual realm. That is how most of them are now glowing like stars of the world, being way up there at the top of the world, leading the whole civilization and technology. But they have not experienced the supernatural power that comes as a consequence of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. They need that “latter rain”. They need Elijah.
The Christians sing and pray that the Divine visitation comes soon and sweep the whole earth as they believe would happen. They sing that the “former and latter” rain would unite to bring this about. What they don’t realize is that it is a long long way to reach that goal.
In his book, The Incomplete Church: Unifying God’s Children, Sid Roth explains how and why there will be no worldwide revival (Divine visitation – as in the song’s term) as long as the Jews and the Christians are not one. There may be Christians who are pro-Israel and pray for Jerusalem, but that is not the “unity” that would cause a worldwide revival.
The summary of the book says,
The Body of Messiah is complete only when Jews and Christians converge.
Christianity today is very different from the original. To experience the original–the miracles, healings, power, and intimacy with God–we have to examine our Jewish roots.
For nearly 2,000 years, there has been a separation between Judaism and Christianity resulting in a lack of miracle power and intimacy with God.
“The Incomplete Church” explores what was stolen by the deceiver in both religions and reveals what will happen when the truth in both converges.
“And wherever the double [Jew and Gentile] river shall go, every living creature which swarms shall live. And there shall be a very great number of fish [revival]…” (Ezekiel 47:9).
The Jews will never accept the Christians so long as their color is completely Greek and not Hebrew. And the Christians can never be one with the Jews as long as their belief in anything supernatural by the Ruach Hakkodesh and an everything else, is rejected by the Jews. The two must meet at one point and become One New Man.
The call for “the former and latter rain” is a call far deeper and greater than what the lyrics of the Christian song above explains. It is not about flowing milk and honey and new vines. It is not about financial blessings (yet). It is at first the convergence and union between the two groups of people. When this happens, worldwide revival will happen and along with it the financial blessings of the Era of Solomon.