smlogo.jpg (9246 bytes)

Rain & Reign
By Elmer Josephson, R.I.P.

Elmerís ministry was largely prophetic. His many books, articles and manuscripts he left behind often read like todayís news. The following is an excerpt from his book Peace and Prosperity, written in Jerusalem in the í80ís.

Now Is The Time To:

"Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds and give them showers of rain to everyone grass in the field" (Zechariah 10:1) Ė i.e., physical and spiritual rain for body and spirit.

Sometimes barely sufficient rain falls in the rainy season. We came to Israel at the beginning of the rainy season (October) this time.

At the halfway mark of the rainy season, the Sea of Galilee was still the lowest it had been since the birth of the State of Israel.

Some good rains came later, but at the point of this writing we still need more.

Here in Israel:

Not a drop of rain falls from May to September/October.

Early rains come in the fall after a hard, hot, dry summer.

The latter rains fall at the latter part of the rainy season Ė March and April.

God instructed and encouraged Israel to pray for rain "in the time of rain." Israel can certainly pray with faith during the season when it is time for the rains to begin and continue.

Israel needs enough rain to fill the Sea of Galilee and all reservoirs throughout the land to provide not only for the Central part of the country but for the South and Negev desert settlements, for farms and livestock.

They need enough rain to last the long, rain-less summer and provide water for desert crops and truck gardening.

There is also a tremendous drain on the water supply for hotels and tourist-related centers. Tourists from America who know little about conserving water use it as freely here in Jerusalem and Israel as they do at home.

Signs of Rain, Profuse and Profound

Now also is the time for Israelís latter national "reign" which began May 15, 1948 at midnight when Israel declared herself a Jewish State. Ten minutes later Harry Truman, President of the United States of America, was the first world ruler to officially acknowledge the new State of Israel. As a result of Uncle Sam showing this immediate confidence in Israel, other nations followed Trumanís lead, including Russia!

All who have studied Godís Word regarding Ďthe returní (the ingathering and spiritual revival of the people of Israel) know the promises and the prophesies that foretell the great outpouring of Godís Spirit upon His 2500-years-of-wandering people.

The spiritual latter rain prior to Messiahís appearance will be the outpouring of Godís Spirit upon Israel at Jerusalem spoken by the Prophet Zechariah in chapter 12:10: "Upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and supplication." Read all Zechariah chapters 12 through 14.

For 2500 years they had no "rain." They lived without any promise of human protection under governments which gave Godís chosen people little assurance they would not be driven out. In many nations Israel lived under the heavy hand of the enemy who kept them confined to ghettos. They were not permitted to own property or to hold professional positions. They were driven from nation to nation, harassed, tortured and blamed for every disaster, such as the Bubonic Plague, and belied by "the blood libel," Ė on and on goes the gory tale.

Now, the first time in 2500 years they have their own homeland and government; they have their own schools and universities; their own army, navy, air force, factories, shops, stores and farms.

This then clearly marks the time for Israelís "latter spiritual rain" as well as national "reign." The Jerusalem Prayer Mandate (Psalm 122:6), then for our time, calls us to pray for the "rain" of Godís Spirit "in the time of rain."

Gene and Kathy Lebowitz of Kansas City with President Harry Truman
(center) in 1964. The Lebowitz's, personal friends of the Josephsons,
are still active in the Jewish Community in Kansas City. They are Holocaust survivors whose story has contributed to the education of many.

Attempts to Stop Rain/Reign

The onslaught of the enemy is fierce. PLOís Arafat has repeatedly boasted, "We will not stop fighting until the PLO flag flies over every mosque and church in Jerusalem."

Satanic forces still seek Israelís destruction. It is written in the PLOís constitution, "the Palestinian national authority... with the aim of completing the liberation of all Palestinian territory . . . ." This "aim" is clearly the total destruction of the state of Godís Covenant people Israel, by the PLOís "phased plan".

But there is a higher authority and He has written an EVERLASTING COVENANT with a Double Indemnity Insurance Clause: "I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee" (Genesis 12:3). This is foretold in symbolism in Revelation 12, the woman in heaven being Israel. Read this in order to understand what is happening and what will be the conclusion of Satanís final attempt to destroy Israel. Of His people the prophecy is: "He that toucheth you toucheth the apple [pupil] of His [Godís] eye" (Zechariah 2:8).

Comforting Rain

The latter rain of Godís Spirit is also needed to comfort Israel (Isaiah 40) Ė not only to heal wounds of holocausts past, but to give strength and comfort now and for the future. She is constantly harassed as a nation with the whole UN against her (except the USA).

They who remain among the Gentiles do not, cannot, have the sense of peace and protection God has promised His people who make "Aliyah". We must pray God to lay it on hearts in the Diaspora to return to Israel which is slated to become, not the largest, but the chief and head of all the nations.

". . . this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations which shall hear all these statutes and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people" (Deuteronomy 4:6). God has given them intelligence far above the Gentile nations because of His Covenant and Word. Let us pray for their "Teshuvah."

Knowing the many promises not only of future prosperity but also now tremendous fulfillments, let us pray in total faith that God will "do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20).

Let us not think of this worldwide Jerusalem Prayer Mandate as a temporary stop-gap operation, but a continuous on-going intercession for the people of Israel in the land and in the scattered Diaspora, until He comes whose right it is to reign over the earth from Jerusalem.

May it grow until there is continuous prayer as incense, a sweet savor, coming up before the Lord from around the world at all hours, until He cannot say, "Nay."

And let us not look to any human being or organization to lead us and lend financial support for our "group" Ė which inevitably will prove to be "a broken reed." Rather, let each one be indigenous and look solely to Godís Spirit and His Word to guide and lead into intercessory prayer and help for Israel.

Constant Prayer For Rain

May our incense of prayer be constant, not only at a group gathering, but in our homes at mealtime, during private prayers and whenever we pray. God will not mock us by encouraging us to pray with no intent answer. But we do need, as the Scripture enjoins, `the assembling of ourselves together.í

As the people were outside praying when the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies in the Temple here in Jerusalem, so may we pray continually in perfect child-like faith while our great High Priest has entered Heaven, the Great Holy of Holies, to make intercession for us.

Remember also the High Priest had a breastplate which supported symbols of the twelve tribes. So our Great High Priest and true Messiah of Israel bears the "breastplate" in the Holy of Holies Ė in heaven itself Ė making intercession for His people Israel. And God has never failed to answer HIS prayers. Hallelujah!

So let us continue to pray for rain Ė the rain of Godís Spirit to refresh and give comfort and peace, the sense of Godís living presence, in this "time of rain".

Hear the text again:

"Ask ye of the LORD rain, in the time of 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).

What is grass? "All flesh is grass." (Read Isaiah 40:1-10.) But His Spirit makes all things come alive and the withered spirits of "grass" take on new life, comfort and real living hope.

What could be clearer? We are right in electing to pray for Israel in the time of Israelís latter rain of Godís Spirit. Never has it been so apropos.

And if only two meet together for the Jerusalem Prayer session, remember Jesusí words, "Where two or three are gathered in my Name, THERE AM I in the midst of them" and "Men ought always to pray. . . ." (Matthew 18:1 & 20).

Key to Revival

Finally, may I challenge pastors to new revitalized spiritual life in your church through taking the people of Israel on your heart.

In the midst of much division and indifference today, the church that incorporates Godís ancient people into their program cannot help but be blessed of God.