Day 33 Devotional Before United Prayer: (about 1:45 minute reading)
A Time without Sin
Also, when Christ is no longer mediating as our high priest, we must have attained a condition of complete victory over all sin in our lives. We will not be living in any known sin. We will not be sinning in thought, word, or deed. Christ will be fully manifesting Himself in and through our lives. In relation to this Ellen White wrote:
“The prince of this world cometh,” said Jesus, “and hath nothing in Me.” John 14:30. There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan’s sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us. (Desire of Ages, 123)
This must be the experience of those who are ready to meet Jesus since they will no longer have the mediatory intercession of Christ to turn to if they sin. That may sound like an impossibility; yet, it is true. The 1888 message of righteousness by faith was all about how to experience that level of obedience to God; through the power of the Spirit within and faith in Christ’s righteousness.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4)
Personal Reading for Discussion:
Get Ready for the Latter Rain
The victory over temptation and sin must happen in our lives under the early-rain baptism power of the Holy Spirit. If this does not happen, the latter rain of the Spirit will be of no benefit to us. Ellen White wrote:
I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful, and were looking to the time of ‘refreshing’ and the ‘latter rain’ to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord, and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God. (Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen White, 112)
It is a deception of Satan if we think that we do not have to take seriously the sin problem in our lives. Ellen White confirmed this with the words:
I saw that none could share the “refreshing” [latter rain] unless they obtained the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. (Ibid., 113)
The early or former rain of the Spirit, which is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, gives us the spiritual maturity required in order to benefit from the latter rain.
The latter rain, ripening earth’s harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of man. But unless the former rain has fallen, there will be no life; the green blade will not spring up. Unless the early showers have done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection. (The Faith I Live By, 333)
Full spiritual growth under the early-rain baptism of the Spirit is necessary for us to even be able to recognize the latter rain of the Spirit when it is falling.
Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it. (Testimony to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 507)
Hence, we must understand and experience righteousness by faith in Christ alone in order to be ready for the latter rain of the Spirit.
Day 33 Prayer Focus: Pray for
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Revival for yourself and the church
- God to lead you and the church to understand and experience the latter rain of the Spirit
- Those on your prayer list
Day 33 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 114 to 117 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 134 to 137 of the PDF version])
- What would our lives be like when Christ is no longer mediating as our high priest?
- Describe the experience we should have under the early-rain baptism power of Holy Spirit?
- What is the needful preparation that so many of us are neglecting even now?
- How dreadful would it be if the people of God neglected the needful preparation?
- What sins is Satan deceiving us to think that we do have to gain the victory over?
- What else will prevent us from experiencing the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain?
- How important is it for us to understand and experience righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ alone?
Day 33 Heart preparation/challenge:
- Throughout the day ask God to remind you what He is speaking to you in today’s reading and going deeper discussions and to help you to apply them in your life.
- Read “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith pages 117 to 119 (pages 137 to 139 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 34.
- Prayerfully answer Day 34 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 34 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.