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    THE REFRESHING

    When Peter addressed the people in the temple just after the day of Pentecost, he said: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto to you; whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:19-21. Here is brought to view a time of refreshing spoken of in close connection with Christ’s second coming. This undoubtedly refers to the same time as that mentioned by the apostle James, which says: “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” James 5:7-8.SGL 22.1

    The early and latter rain is also mentioned by the prophet Joel in connection with his description of the last days. The coming of the “former rain moderately” is called, in the margin of the text, “a teacher of righteousness, according to righteousness.” Joel 2:23. The outpouring of the Spirit of God on the day of Pentecost-the coming of the Comforter as a teacher-was comparable to the “former rain,” which caused the newly sown seed of the husbandman to take root and grow. So in the ripening of the harvest of the earth, just before the end, the Husbandman-our heavenly Father (John 15:1)-is waiting for the “latter rain,” the “refreshing,” to aid in ripening off the harvest of the earth. The Lord has said by His prophet, “Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.” Zechariah 10:1. And thus will be fulfilled His promise: “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” Hosea 6:3.SGL 22.2

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