By: Dr. Brian Bailey
The Glorious Church - References from the Prophets
There are many references to the Last Day Church in both the Major and Minor Prophets. Remember, we said that Old Testament prophecies that promise blessings for Israel also have their counterpart fulfilment in the Church. Therefore, when we read that God’s promises to give Israel a new heart (a promise that will be fulfilled for them during the Millennium), we can be assured that it has a fulfilment in the Church as well.
The Apostle Paul interpreted that blessing for the Church in Hebrews 8:10, where he said, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.”
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh
Paul said in Hebrews 10:16, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.” Old Testament promises to Israel have an application for the Church, and for us as individual believers. The reality of the New Covenant is that the Lord takes His laws and writes them upon the fleshly tables of our hearts, not upon tablets of stone, so that we obey Him from the heart. We delight to do His will; it is not grievous unto us (Psa. 40:8).
God promised multiplication and blessing to Israel in Ezekiel 36:26, 38: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh…As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the Lord.” Therefore, we can conclude that the Church will experience multiplication in these last days.
There is an even more direct allusion to the Church in Isaiah 60:1-2: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.”
This time of great darkness cannot refer to the Millennium. Rather, it refers to the time of sorrows leading up to the Lord’s Second Coming. There will be great darkness upon the earth, and we can already see this coming to pass. However, God promises that when there is great darkness upon the earth, His glory will be seen upon the Church. The glory of God will be visibly seen upon His people. "He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe ... " (2 Thess. 1: 10).
There is a promise in Isaiah 4:5 of a manifestation of God's glory for all the congregations that dwell upon spiritual Mount Zion: "And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence."
The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former; saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.
Thus we can boldly declare that the Old Testament clearly teaches that the Last Day Church will experience a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Many will repent and accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and the glory of God will be seen upon the Church.
This is confirmed by Haggai 2:9, which says, "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former; saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts." This prophecy was given during the time when the Temple of Solomon, which had been totally destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C., was undergoing restoration.
However, this prophecy does not refer to the Restoration Temple. The young men rejoiced when the Temple was restored, but the old men who had seen Solomon's Temple in all its glory wept because it did not compare to the original temple (cf. Hag. 2:3).
Literally, this prophecy speaks of the fact that the Latter House (the Millennial Temple which Ezekiel saw) will be greater than the Former House (Solomon's Temple). However, it is also emblematic of the Last Day Church, which will be more glorious than the Early Church. The Early Church experienced the Feast of Pentecost, but the Last Day Church will experience the Feast of Tabernacles. What God is going to do today will far excel what He did on the day of Pentecost.
The prophet Joel also speaks of a great last day outpouring of the Holy Spirit: "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit" (Joel 2:28-29).
This was partially fulfilled in the Early Church when the Spirit of God was poured out on the day of Pentecost, as Peter testified in Acts 2:16-21. However, it will be fulfilled in all of its entirety in the last day revival. There will be prophecies and visions. The Church will experience an open heaven. Thus we can say with assurance that the Prophets of the Old Testament speak with one voice, all declaring that the Last Day Church will experience a great revival.
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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.