When we think of true revival, many imagine this taking place in the sterile, aesthetically-pleasing sanctuaries of our churches. But the last revival and end-time harvest won't be like a walk through the Garden of Eden and if we learned anything about the time preceding Jesus' first advent, then we'll realise that the end harvest won't be found in the apostate church, but out in the wilderness. John was a modest, regular guy who God had chosen. God's Word is filled with patterns -- we need to understand the pattern in order to understand how God works.
The great harvest that will precede the coming of Jesus is set on a stage of wars with great blood shed, immense poverty and disease, much persecution of Christians, natural disasters and overall, these times will be more perilous than since the world began.
But why oh why does God allow such things to happen? Let's turn to Joel 1:19-20 and see what happens when great disaster comes upon the people.
'To you, O Lord, I call. For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and flame has burned all the trees of the field. Even the beasts of the field pant for you because the water brooks are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.'
What happens during times of sorrow and mourning? Many call upon the name of the Lord and repent. They are humbled before the Lord and He comes for His people and rescues them from death's grip.
Malachi 4:2 'But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.'
Through war, famine and pestilence, the harvest will be the greatest time for any man or woman of God to witness.
Revelation 7:9 'After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,'
Many believe that we are experiencing prophecy coming to pass. So remember, as these things begin to increase in the season ahead, Jesus left us with a word of victory.
'...when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.'
One last word. God never wants us to hide in fear and give up living our daily lives, no matter what season we are in. During the harvest, we are called to get out there, roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty. Real men and women of God will be out on the battlefield shining Christ's light as people seek refuge.
He gives us the grace to stand in any situation that may come our way.
The first man and woman sinned in paradise and since then, the pattern is that once God's people find paradise in this world, they begin to sin and rebel just as their forefathers and mothers did. Yes indeed, salvation is not found in paradise, but out in the wilderness where we are brought to our knees.
-- By Judah Ayling