By: Dr. Brian Bailey
It is a fact that there will be a series of awesome judgments before the Second Coming. However, Scripture clearly teaches us that prior to judgment God will pour out His Spirit upon the earth in the greatest revival mankind has ever seen. We see a precedent for this in Scripture. The following examples clearly demonstrate that revival precedes judgment.
The nation of Israel experienced tremendous manifestations of God’s glory and power on numerous occasions. After the Lord had delivered them from Egyptian bondage through the ten plagues, He divided the Red Sea so they could escape Pharaoh’s armies. The cloud of God’s glory came down upon Mount Sinai and Israel partook of it, but because of their unbelief and disobedience in the wilderness, a whole generation perished and never reached the Promised Land. In the days of the judges, God empowered various men to perform mighty exploits to bring deliverance to the Israelites when they repented of their sins. Sadly, each time after God delivered them, they would backslide and they would be subjected again to servitude by foreign powers.
At the beginning of Solomon's reign, God's glory was manifested in the Temple. In fact, the glory of God was so strong that the priests could not even stand up (2 Chron. 5:13-14). But because of Solomon's idolatry, God divided his kingdom after his death.
Thus we see clearly in these examples the pattern of revival preceding judgment. However, the best example comes from the three principal sieges of Jerusalem.
1. During the 14th year of the reign of Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria surrounded Jerusalem with his armies.
Prior to this, in the first year of Hezekiah's reign, there had been a mighty revival, "for since the time of Solomon there was not the like in Jerusalem" (2 Chron. 30:26). (See also 2 Chronicles 29-31.)
2. The second significant siege of Jerusalem took place during the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah.
The city fell in the eleventh year of his reign in 586 B.C. to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Forty years prior to this, in the reign of Josiah, the greatest revival that Israel had ever experienced took place. " ... For there was no Passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet in the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah" (2 Chron. 35: 1-19).
3. The third major siege and consequent overthrow of Jerusalem occurred in 70 A.D. by the Roman General, Titus.
The temple was destroyed by fire. Some forty years prior to this siege, all flesh had seen the glory of the Lord as manifested through the life of the only begotten Son of God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Moreover, after our Saviour’s death there was what is commonly called the "Pentecostal Outpouring," which ushered in the Church Age. In the following years of this revival, countless thousands were swept into the Kingdom of God. The early apostles turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). People were healed when Peter passed by them and his shadow touched them (Acts 5:15). It was after this mighty revival that Jerusalem was overthrown by Titus.
You see, all of these examples are patterns of what is going to happen in the last days. History will be repeated. There will be a final siege of Jerusalem in the last days, prior to the coming of the Lord. It was foretold by the prophets of old.
The early apostles turned the world upside down. People were healed when Peter passed by them and his shadow touched them
We read in Joel 3:1-2: "For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land."
We read in Zechariah 12:1-4: "The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness."
....prior to the Second Coming of the Lord and before the last siege of Jerusalem there will be a mighty revival.
Zechariah's prophecy of the final siege of Jerusalem continues in verses 5-8: "And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them." It is worthy of note that Jerusalem falls, but Mount Zion does not (Zech. 14:2).
Hermeneutics, the study of Biblical interpretation, would therefore teach us that prior to the Second Coming of the Lord and before the last siege of Jerusalem there will be a mighty revival.
To continue reading part II of the article click here.
This article is an excerpt from Chapter One of The Second Coming. It has been printed with covering permission from the late Dr. Brian Bailey. You may purchase a copy of the book from Faithworks Bookstore.