The Latter Rain Angel and the Holy Spirit (Pt 1)
“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.” – Rev. 18:1.
An angel (Rev. 18:1) is commissioned to bring about the latter rain. The latter rain outpouring of the Holy Spirit will supersede the former rain outpouring at Pentecost. In Gethsemane an angel was sent to comfort Jesus. This brief presentation poses two questions that arise.
The first question
What evidence exists that the Comforter who brought the early rain at Pentecost could not have been an angel? As a corollary to that question, we may also ask, what is the basis for the view that the outpouring at Pentecost could only have been brought about by a Divine Personality? It should be emphasized that the relevance of the issue is the matter of whether we should worship the Comforter.
The typical answer has been that the Greek word for “another” in the promise that Christ made to send “another Comforter” means another of the same kind. This is not sufficient to answer the question as the subject was comfort and not divinity – so it’s another of the same kind in relation to the giving of comfort, not in relation to God-status. The point was that with Jesus’s departure, the disciples would be no less comforted.
In seeking to answer the question, one might wish to consider the following statements:
“Read and study the fourth chapter of Zechariah… The golden oil represents the Holy Spirit.” – Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 188.
“From the two olive trees the golden oil was emptied through the golden pipes into the bowl of the candlestick, and thence into the golden lamps that gave light to the sanctuary. So from the holy ones that stand in God’s presence His Spirit is imparted to the human instrumentalities who are consecrated to His service. The mission of the two anointed ones is to communicate to God’s people that heavenly grace which alone can make His word a lamp to the feet and a light to the path. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6. – Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 408.15.
The same thought is expressed at another place, the only difference being that the golden oil that was said to be God’s Spirit is now said to be divine light, love and power. It says:
“In this vision the two olive trees which stand before God are represented as emptying the golden oil out of themselves through golden tubes into the bowl of the candlestick. From this the lamps of the sanctuary are fed, that they may give a bright, continuous light. So from the anointed ones that stand in God’s presence the fullness of divine light and love and power is imparted to His people, that they may impart to others light and joy and refreshing. Those who are thus enriched are to enrich others with the treasure of God’s love.” – Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings p. 594.1
The anointed ones that stand before God and empty from themselves the Holy Spirit into the believer are said to be angels.
“And when these angels empty from themselves the golden oil of truth into the heart of him who is teaching the word, then the application of the truth will be a solemn, serious matter.” Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 337
“The anointed ones standing by the Lord of the whole earth have the position once given to Satan as covering cherub.” – Ellen G. White, The Review and Herald, July 20, 1897. (also Ellen G. White, The Truth about Angels, p. 150).
The second question
What evidence is there that the person sent to comfort and minister to us after Jesus’s return to heaven could not be an angel under whose direction the other ministering spirits (angels) minister to us? As a corollary to that question we may also ask, what is the basis for the view that none other than a Divine Personality could be sent to comfort us after Jesus returned to heaven? It should be noted that when Jesus was in Gethsemane and needed comfort and strength to face the cross, an angel was sent to comfort and strengthen Him.
We should consider the following:
Christ said that He would send the Comforter and when the Comforter comes, he would not speak of himself. He will only speak what he hears –“It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7). Further, “he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak:” (John 16:13).
Christ is obviously greater than the Comforter. In the sending of the Comforter, the order of authority is clearly seen. Christ prays to the Father and asks Him to give the Comforter. Then Christ sends the Comforter –“I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter” (John 14:16).
Angels are similarly commissioned: “And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.”; “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” – Heb. 1:7, 14.
The ultimate issue
As stated before, the ultimate issue is worship. We are called upon to preach the “everlasting gospel” to “every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” – Rev. 14:6, 7. Let us not adulterate our message by calling people to give worship where it does not belong.
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).
- Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:6)