(3) In the Biblical background for this prophetic understanding, as seen in Joel 2:23, the emphasis is on “rain for the harvest (i.e., God’s providential gifts for the Gospel Work)”. This “rain” is then divided into two major events, namely the “early rain” which helps to properly start/establish the work, and the “latter rain” which helps to complete that earlier started work. (Cf. Deu 11:14) It is important to view these rain events as types and thus they can have a fulfillment wherever they substantively apply. As such, the occurrence of these events is also not to be limited, as many rigidly assume, to only two occurrences, but to wherever they indeed do find/fit an applicable: ‘specific “started work” pointedly ‘later completed’” development, as noted in the next point and also later in this post.
It can also be seen that the disciples did not receive the Holy Spirit because they gathered and ask for it, but simply because, they had remained united together in faithful preparation for the work of witnessing that Jesus had promised they would do. So it was that devoted dedication to God’s work that was blessed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and not a ‘specially crafted, insistent season of pointed petitions.’ There is definite work to do, and that should be the predominant prayerful focus and work of the church.
In the hydrological cycle of rain, it summarily is seen that all rain ultimately comes from bodies of water, after the top most layers of these bodies having been evaporated into the atmosphere by the useful heating energy provided by the sun. This evaporated water is then collected into a cloud, which is then transported (by being pushed) by the wind to areas of inherent need, namely the earth. A lot can be said here in regards to all of the natural elements that are involved here in the producing of rain, statements on these elements which are also consistent with their symbolic use in, especially signified prophecy. However it can simply be seen and pointed out here that the hydrological cycle serves as a way to facilitate the needed watering of the earth. Case in point, this a cycle that came into existence, apparently by the initiating action of God, following the Flood, when apparently the pre-Flood irrigating foundations were irreparably burst wide open by their use in bringing about the flood (see Gen 7:11; cf. 2:5b; see also this post). Clearly the vital importance of water for the growth of crops is readily seen however, it is because of the even more wider need of water for thriving, even vital, everyday life, that many ancient civilizations and communities were established along the sides of, e.g., rivers (e.g., Egypt = Nile; Babylon = Euphrates; and arguably even the Garden of Eden = 4 Rivers (Gen 2:10-14)). It is really not until the rise of the Roman Empire, with is expansive aqueduct system that this no longer was a formidable obstacle to the free development of civilization, and as it allowed even water-remote settlements to do more than what, mainly, normal local rainfalls permitted. In today’s, especially developed world, this is no longer a feasible obstacle in itself, as water can be drawn from, and taken, in sufficient amount, to virtually any part of the world, however it is the accompanying economical factors that come to limit this feasibility. So with this overall scientific background, it can be seen that the process of rainfall itself is a most valuable facilitative process resource to humans, for when it occurs in sufficient amounts in an area of need, it accounts for the alternative need of using more labor intensive and costly means for solely obtaining this water resource from remote bodies of water.
Indeed, in Apostolic times, in the sudden ability to speak in unlearned languages, brought about, interestingly enough, by ‘a sudden, house-filling sound of a violent, rushing wind’ (Acts 2:2) - with wind indeed being the actual symbol of the Holy Spirit (at work) (cf. John 3:8; 20:22), the gathered praying disciples were facilitatively given a quite timely, pragmatic and attention gaining gift, and they were indeed able to gather and hold the attention of a crowd then gathered for the feast of Pentecost, and proclaim to them the Gospel message in their own language. This sudden ability to speak in an unlearned language was indeed one of the abilities that Jesus had said his followers would be able to do (Mark 16:17-18). Also to highlight the timeliness of this gift, it seems to be no coincidence that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was visibly seen as “tongues, as of fire, and distributing themselves.” In other words, although this sign was pointedly ‘tongues looking like fire (brands)’, and which were being ‘distributed to each one of them just like scattering brands from a fire.’ (See AA 39.1; =Matt 3:11|Luke 3:16). So the emphasis of this outpoured gift was for the ability to be able to speak in a unlearned language, and with ‘devout Jews from every “nation under heaven” (Act 2:5) gathered at that very time in Jerusalem it was indeed a pertinently needed gift. With three thousand people being baptized, including many of these visiting Jews, the Gospel message was thus able to be widely distributed when these visitors returned to their countries of residence. Later the disciples accomplished the other miracles that Jesus had said that they would be able to do (e.g, Acts 2:43), however no visible/special sign, as that of the ‘distribution of tongues’ was similarly said to be given first. It therefore can be seen that in the giving of this gift of tongues, and the resulting sudden (existing) foreign language utterances (Acts 2:4), God had literally taken upon himself to help the disciples overcome this otherwise significant obstacle, and powerfully launched them upon their Spirit-driven works and Christlike all-encompassing ministries. Still, it was not that this language obstacle was absolutely impossible for the disciples to do. Some of the people present in that crowd could have translated what the disciples were saying if they only spoke one of those foreign languages. It also very well may be that these visitors, being “devout Jews”, also spoke the common Jewish languages of Hebrew and/or Aramaic, or even Greek (or else they would have trouble understanding anything during these religious events, let alone communicate with others, while in Jerusalem. (e.g. John 12:20-23ff)). At the most extreme, they could have sought to learn different languages of themselves, but this may have taken them a considerable amount of time given the educational structures of the times, and they surely would have missed this, and many other such, great, quasi-global, mass-evangelism opportunities. So God here did not leave this proclamation matter into the hands of non-believers, risk that things would get lost in translation, or be delayed by almost insurmountable educational barriers of the times. Through this pertinent gift, He therefore personally, supernaturally equipped the disciples themselves with a most urgently needed and impressive spiritual tool/resource. (=AA 39.2; cf. 1 Cor 14:22a). And as Stephen Bohr points out in this good, (first of 2), GYC 2012 seminar presentation, [see other here], (see also a 2014 Pentecost Series presentation of his), on the deeper origins of, and, pertinently here, pragmatic reasons for, the gift of tongues in the key NT mentions [see at 33:07ff], Paul himself ‘spoke more in tongues than anyone else’ (1 Cor 14:18) pragmatically because of the realities in his foreign Missionary travellings where he would be meeting many foreign peoples, who speak foreign languages [and would not always have a translator]; and he also needed to “impress” these Gentiles, who were variously steeped in, moreover Satanically-influenced, paganism.
Such a global testimony will undoubtedly have the same effect that the Apostolic outpouring had. Indeed it will, as a whole, be in sharp contrast to the current ways of this selfish, indifferent and individualistic world. As such, this will indeed be a prominent, attention gaining gift. It will also be a pertinent and timely in that, these vital conditions in the world are becoming increasingly worst as the global population increases and current wasteful use of various vital resources cause more and more insufficiencies. The Church today wrongly, and quite basely, sees all of these man-made/sustained troubles as signs that the end is soon to come, and this would explain why no remedying concern is given, nor effort made, to actually end and fix these problems. Instead the presence of these signs are seen as the perfect props to corroborate messages of impeding doom. However it is actually the Gospel message that is rendered as powerless by not being able to overturn these man-made/sustained issues. Also Jesus did not instruct his followers to preach the signs of the times, but instead to seek to provide the best and most convicting testimony of God’s Kingdom (Matt 24:14 & 28: 19-20) in the light of them, a testimony that will be more powerful if it is demonstrated, rather than merely spoken of. (1 Tim 6:16-17; James 2:14-26; Heb 13:16; 1 John 3:17 - interestingly enough, the example that James gives for his Faith vs. Works teaching is that of meeting the needs of the poor.) Indeed if the Church actually has an all-encompassing, practical Gospel Work to do in regards to the proper proclamation of Kingdom of God, but such a testimony is not being made mainly because the Church is itself also defeated by these man-caused problems, then really, what contrasting Biblical testimony does it possess to give to ‘all of the world’s nations.’
It may be knee-jerkedly assumed after reading this post that what is being expounded upon here is a belief that the “Latter Rain Outpouring” will solely be a pragmatic affair and not involve any spiritual, “inner-person” work, however that is not, and indeed, cannot be, the Biblical case. One cannot truly emulate Christ’s character and do such works of His without also having “spiritually and innerly” been fully baptized by the Holy Spirit. (cf. Acts 10:38; Matt 4:23). What is being emphasized in this blog post is that this Baptism will only come, both on a personal and corporate level, when individuals and the Church step out to truly/actually do what Jesus fully expects in these times. Nevertheless, as the outpouring in the time of the Disciples was quite pragmatic (i.e., the gift of speaking in unlearned languages), as was the outpouring at the time of the founding of the Remnant Work (i.e., the divine confirmation of Biblical Studies for a group who had very little theological education/training), an outpouring in our time will similarly be meeting a pragmatic need of the Church today, and that is the need to recognize and admits its entrenched and revered faults, and confess and “divorce” them.
Indeed, the message to Laodicea is unequivocal that this Church needs to fully and truly recognize its greatly impeding “Lukewarm” state and “zealously repent” so that God can then abundantly bless her, and thus elevate her to the position that He wishes to place her in. (Rev 3:19-21). Therefore the most urgent need of the Church today is, as it is pertinently/applicably prophetically stated in Zech 12:10a(-13:9): a need for a ‘spirit of [concrete earnestness to obtain (i.e., attain the position for)] “favor” (Pro 13:15; 3:3-4; 28:23; 3:34; Psa 45:2; Zec 4:7; Eccl 9:11; Pro 22:1, 11) and “supplication” (Jer 3:21-22; 31:6-9; Dan 9:17-18, 23; 2 Chr 6:21; Psa 28:2; cf. Amos 8:10).’ [=Matt 22:33-44|COL 284.1-306.4] Then, and only then, will the begin to understand how vilely sinful their present blessings-squandering (cf. Gen 12:2; LDE 59.3-60.2) and insufficiently benevolent, works are to Jesus Christ Himself and thus how they are contributing to His sufferings. (Zech 12:10b) Indeed these are the two key elements that were manifested in Jacob during his (prophetic) time of trouble (Jer 30:7) that resulted in him being enduringly blessed by God. Such a petition will therefore not result in a facade, or lip service, of ‘“claiming” to want this gift,’ nor a quasi-taunting: “there-I've-done-my-(due)-part-in-“earnestly asking”’ stance, but like Jacob it will be an unrelenting striving, active “wrestling”, and potentially even ‘God-surprising determination’ to do all that is necessary to see that God’s desires and will be done, and if at all possible -through God’s grace and favor, through us. There will then be a ‘not letting go’ of God and His Promises, Blessings and Ultimate Will (cf. Isa 55:7-13), nor a disregard for the major paradigm changes that this will require in one’s personal life. And, typologically, all in a context of ‘needed assurance of victory over an enraged, and menacingly/threateningly advancing (unfaithful and indolent) “brother” who had previously given up this ‘birthright and its promises’ for immediate and expedient temporal gain. (Gen 25:27-34; 32:23-32; cf. PP (Ch. 18) 195-203).
As stated above, what will be fundamentally involved in all of this will be: not doing, nor being contended to only do, ‘what the current “deified” and worshipped Capitalistic economy “allows” to be done, but uncompromisingly what God desires for and through His Chosen People, the true inheritors of Israel.
 It seems like the “in-thing” in the Church today, especially from GC leaders, apparently in response to the urging of some church members that the Church should do more to “Finish the Work” is that ‘the Church will not/cannot “Finish the Work”’ because it is only God [through angels] who will do this. Often Rom 9:28 is cited in support of this view, followed by a non-sequitur, double-talking, semantics-based, attempt to rationalize that view. (See e.g. Mark Finley - GYC 2009 - Pentecost Repeated Part 2 [11:56-15:57ff] & Ed Reid - Unmistakable Signs of the End [1:41:59-1:42:54]). However here, there is a typical panoply of errors with this view, which is the typical fruit from the endemic dysfunction of the Church, and surely is no excuse.
The actual reason why the Church’s present efforts are not “blessed” with such Divine power is simply because it is not an offering that God can so blessed. All things taken into consideration, it indeed is a 20 cents offering!
 In this June 2011presentation on “Spiritual Gifts and Ministries” during 3ABN’s “Pillars of Our Faith” series, the current Speaker/Director of It Is Written, John Bradshaw, makes at [34:35-35:29] the manifestly/likely knowing, balking retort to such a statement here in this post in regards to: ‘God really not needing to supernaturally act in regards to this present, quite blessed and resource-rich, SDA Church in order for it to finish its work,’ by positing as an example ‘the 800+ indigenous language groups in Papua New Guinea who do not even know the Gospel, by not having access to Gospel material/media, including the Bible, in their languages.’ He therefore claims, after circularly ascertaining that ‘the end must be very soon,’ that ‘there will not be enough time to do such a translating work to communicate the Gospel to these, (and such other) people groups.’ Well as: (1) one of the required Gospel reach extent is indeed “every tongue” (Rev 14:6ff), and (2) the Church currently has the various resources, including human resources, to accomplish, even speedily, such a task, (a task that would most likely have its costs covered by the benefiting National Government, and could even legally and rightly impose copyright fees for the for-profit commercial use of this now written languages by corporations, e.g., Google Translate), then God will here surely not do for the Church what it is thus most effectively, rebelliously refusing to do, indeed preferring to expend such “valuable” time, effort and, controllingly, money, towards reaching its own worldly goals and ambitions.
And pertinently, completely showing up of all of these wastes/neglected various resources, accessibility and capabilities by SDAs, see the example here[30:16ff] of the fully contrasting, expended and dedicated, sacrificing, preparation and service commitment to these People of Papua New Guinea by Missionary Mike Cratch, -(then, in 2005, only a Christian for 6 years), and his family (from Francis Chan’s (now former) Church.)
-Come to even more clear-mindedly/cerebrally think of it, that restated claim in Nelson’s sermon is as irrational as an abusive husband supplicating his wife to make him love her more so that he could stop being abusive to her....So really...SDA’s now [want to] believe that: “It’s all, and has all along been, God’s fault”!!! (How telling...Ev 696.3)!