Latter Rain

Literally the spring rains at the close of the wet season in Palestine that matured winter grain for the harvest ( Deut. 11:14 ), in contrast with the “early,” or “former,” rain the preceding autumn ( Joel 2:23 ; Jer. 5:24 ; James 5:7 ) that germinated the seed and gave the crop a start before the onset of winter; theologically, in a metaphorical sense, the outpouring of the divine Spirit upon God’s people to prepare them for the figurative harvest of the world at the end of time ( cf . Hosea 6:3 ). With respect to the gospel commission that Christ entrusted to His church on earth ( Matt. 28:19 , 20 ; Acts 1:8 ), Seventh-day Adventists refer to the experience at Pentecost as the “early,” or “former,” rain, and to the divine favor that will accompany the efforts put forth ...

From the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Published with permission from the Review and Herald Publishing Association.