By: Dr. Brian Bailey
The Glorious Church - References from the New Testament
The New Testament depicts an equally glorious Church. The Apostle Paul declared in Ephesians 5:25-27: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. " Therefore, before the Lord can return, His Church must come to glory and perfection, and be ready to meet Him in the air.
The seven parables of the Kingdom speak of a time of great ingathering in these last days, ending with the Parable of the Net. The seven parables in Matthew 13 correlate with the seven feasts in Leviticus 23, the seven churches of Asia in Revelation chapters 2-3, and seven eras or time periods of the Church Age. From this we see that the Last Day Church will experience the Feast of Tabernacles, and also a mighty harvest of souls, as seen in the Parable of the Net. But unfortunately, many in the Last Day Church will be like the church of Laodicea.
We read in Matthew 13:47-50: “Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” The greatest harvest of souls of all time will take place in the last days. The nets will not break.
Jesus promised that His followers would perform greater miracles than He did. In the last days, the Church will have the power of God
The Apostle James exhorts us to, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receives the early and latter rain” (Jas. 5:7). The early rain is associated with the Pentecostal experience that the New Testament Church enjoyed, but the latter rain represents the outpouring upon the end time Church. The early rain in Israel was a light rainy season that softened the ground so that the crops could be planted. The latter rain was the heavy rains that brought the crops to maturity and perfection. The last day revival, the “latter rain revival,” will bring the Church to perfection and maturity, as Jesus promised.
In Joel 2:23, there is a promise that the Last Day Church will experience the former rain and the latter rain: “Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.” The former rain moderately can be seen as the Charismatic Revival of the 1960s. What God did in that time was wonderful, but we are eagerly awaiting something much greater!
The words of Jesus in John 14:12 will be fulfilled in our days: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” Jesus promised that His followers would perform greater miracles than He did. In the last days, the Church will have the power of God. Miracles, healings, and resurrections will be commonplace, for Jesus promised us a double portion of His Spirit and power.
God's people must prepare themselves at this time for revival. We want to be ready when God moves.
Jesus declared in Matthew 24:14. “And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” This end time revival will enable this prophecy to be fulfilled. The Gospel will be preached in every nation of the world. Jesus continued by saying in Matthew 24:21, "And then shall be great tribulation." This is the reason we say that revival precedes judgment. In verse 14, Jesus said that the Gospel would be spread throughout the whole world before the Great Tribulation, which is spoken of in verse 21.
So what is God speaking to His Church today? Well, we are nearing the time of that great revival. There are glimpses of it here and there. There are reports of God's moving in this nation and that nation. However, this revival will be worldwide. Its impact will be universal.
Therefore, God's people must prepare themselves at this time for revival. We want to be ready when God moves. We want to have the infrastructure ready so that we do not lose any of the souls that come to salvation. The barns must be ready before the harvest; otherwise the harvest will be lost.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:9, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." Beloved, believe for great things in these last days and you will see the glory of the Lord, for all these things must precede the Lord's return. Pray that you will be prepared and ready when God moves in revival power!
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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.