The Glorious Church Foretold in Scripture
The prophets of the Old Testament era prophesied concerning events and blessings of the Last Day Church that have not as yet been fulfilled or experienced by the Church on earth. One example of this is found in the well-known passage in which Isaiah likens the righteous to stars that are manifested at night: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee” (Isaiah 60:1).
Now it is evident that this has not yet been fulfilled. The reason given to us is in Isaiah 60:2: “For behold the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people but the Lord shall arise upon thee and the glory of the Lord shall be seen upon thee.” Therefore, the timing of the glory of God is when darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people. Presumably, this is just prior to and during the time of the Antichrist.
We have to understand that we are approaching those days. So many countries are having their laws changed to permit things that were forbidden in the Ten Commandments. There is spiritual darkness and violence in many countries, and also great spiritual blindness in people. In my generation, everyone had an idea of what he or she was going to do. The general public had an idea of right and wrong, even if they were not Christian. However, today the people do not know good from bad.
We run the hardest towards the end of the race.
The darkness, as Paul refers to it, begins with the great falling away. When the disciples asked Jesus what the signs of His coming would be, He said, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Mt. 24:12). That is why we want to emphasise to the young and old alike how important it is to keep the fire of the Holy Spirit burning brightly in our lives and in our churches.
General Booth once gathered the leaders of the Salvation Army around him and spoke to them, saying, “Tend to the fire; the nature of fire is to go out.” Therefore, we always have to keep the fire burning within our hearts. We do not want our love for Christ to wax cold. Matthew 24:13 says, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
We run the hardest towards the end of the race.
As the Apostle Paul said in Hebrews 12, we are in a race, and the all-important thing in a race is the finish line. We could retire at the age of sixty and “vegetate” both in the spiritual and natural. But in a race, we run hardest towards the end of the race. We have to overcome our besetting sins that hinder us from finishing.
Another aspect of the darkness will be the disappearance of all institutions, law, and order. This will culminate in a total collapse of orderly life as we know it today. Jesus said that the Last Days will be as in the days of Noah, when there was terrible immorality, violence, and scoffing.
The darkness referred to here is that which emanates from the kingdom of darkness, which is ruled by Satan and the Antichrist. We see clearly in Daniel 7:25, that the Antichrist will have power to change times and laws.
Thus, we will have the spectrum of darkness upon earth, and upon the people of this world; yet there will be light upon the children of God. A similar situation existed at the time of the Exodus, when darkness covered the Egyptians, while light the children of Israel.
This is substantiated by Habakkuk 2:14, which declares that “…the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” In the season of great darkness, it is time to look up, because the promise is this: “…the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee” (Isaiah 60:2). Great light is going to come upon the Church in these Last Days.
Moreover, the Old Testament is filled with types (or foreshadowing examples) of experiences which the New Testament Church will enter into. The visible glory of the Old Testament was manifested in the face of Moses. It was also manifested at the dedication of the Temple of Solomon,
during the Feast of Tabernacles.
In the life of Christ, we see Christ transfigured on the Mount of Transfiguration, shining brightly as He communed with Moses and Elijah. The Early Church manifested the glory of God in extraordinary ways in provision, miracles, and wisdom. But God is saying that the Last Day Church is going to exceed in glory anything that was done in the New Testament Church.
The words of Christ are of higher importance than those contained in the Old Testament.
In Haggai 2:9, the Lord spoke through the prophet Haggai, saying, “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.” Haggai ministered during the time of the Restoration Era, when Zerubbabel was governor and Joshua was the high priest. Together with Zechariah, his companion prophet, these men stirred up the people to rebuild the house of God through the prophetic word.
When the rebuilding of the temple was completed, it was the young who rejoiced with great joy, but not the elderly. That was because the elderly had seen Solomon’s Temple that preceded this Restoration Temple, and they just wept because the Restoration Temple was nothing compared to that.
What then did Haggai mean when he said that the glory of the latter house will be greater than the glory of the former house? In referring to the latter house, he was certainly not talking about the Restoration Temple, which had paled in comparison with Solomon’s Temple. Rather, he was comparing the glory of the Temple of Solomon with the great glory that will be manifested in the Church in the Last Days. We are the temple of the living God (1 Corinthians 3:16), and so Haggai is looking all the way to the End Times and speaking of the Church that
will be prepared to meet the Lord of glory. It will be a Glorious Church without spot or wrinkle.
The Apostle Paul, too, linked the manifestation of the glory of God upon the countenance of Moses with a greater glory that the New Testament saints will experience: “But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious” (2 Corinthians 3:7-11).
The age of the New Testament, for example, is far more glorious than that of the Old Testament. The words of Christ are of higher importance than those contained in the Old Testament. In our day, we also have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and a knowledge and revelation of the Word that the Old Testament saints did
"You have reserved the best for the last” (John 2:10). That speaks of God’s reserving the best outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the highest glory for the Last Day Church. God always excels and exceeds anything He has done before.
In John 14:12, Jesus also said, “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 walked on the water (Matthew 14:25), but Philip was transported through the air (Acts 8:39). Peter’s very shadow healed the sick,
but that is nothing compared to what will happen in these Last Days (Acts 5:15).
At the time of the first miracle (at the wedding at Cana of Galilee), running out of wine would have been a terrible social disaster and humiliation. The Lord, in His graciousness, performed the miracle of turning water into wine, whereupon the governor of the feast said unto the bridegroom, “You have reserved the best for the last” (John 2:10). That speaks of God’s reserving the best outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the highest glory for the Last Day Church. God always excels and exceeds anything He has done before.
The Apostle Paul also spoke about the glory of God in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” As we have mentioned, the Apostle Paul was an apostle born out of time. Basically his writings are more prophetic than didactic (for teaching), because he had such great revelation concerning the Church of the Last Days.
It is important, first of all, to grasp the significance of glory. It is the goodness of God, the power of God, and also the visible manifestation of the light of God in the faces of His people (which I have been privileged to see in vision). I thank God for the visions He has given me, because they have held me, giving me an understanding that the end of the matter is going to be glorious. I have been in revivals in New Zealand; they have come and gone. But this next revival will be glorious.
This article is an excerpt from Dr. Brian J. Bailey’s book, The Glory. It is the third part of a series featuring Chapter 17, “The Glorious Church in the Last Days”. It has been printed with covering permission from the late Dr. Brian J. Bailey.