21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:21
In the Christian Church, we have heard the doom and gloom of the world falling apart and Jesus coming to whisk us away just in time through a rapture and then Jesus dealing with this tough time. Sadly, this has caused many people to hide, to fear and to not be the people of God that He has made us to be.
When we understand that God wants to restore all things, and Jesus is being held back until all things are restored how we think and act as disciples of Jesus changes. God has put us on the Earth to make a difference in the Earth, and the 'good works' we have been given is to be God's hands and feet to help usher in this time of 'restoration' so not only God's creation, but His people (church or ecclesia) are fully restored, ready for Jesus to come for his bride who has made herself ready. The following verses are key to this understanding. God is coming back to a church or His people that have made themselves ready, are a chaste virgin to Christ and we are a glorious church without spot, wrinkle or any blemish but are holy.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7
2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.2 Corinthians 11:2 (NKJV)
27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:27 (NKJV)
God is preparing His Church or Ecclesia for Jesus' return and we will be spotless and ready for His coming. Be prepared to be restored so you to become all God has made you to be, without any imperfection. To be mature. God is also dealing with things in our lives to prepare us and to equip us for the task of working with God to restore all things. There will be restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. Restoration to how God made it to operate, we as His Church will be restored to be in the relationship with God as He intended, and we will be able to live totally in the way God has intended for us to live. This is demonstrated in Genesis before the fall where: -
1. There was no sin
2. Adam and Eve lived totally in God's love.
3. Man walked with God shoulder to shoulder and had an intimate and personal relationship with God.
4. God fully provided for man's needs.
5. There was not sorrow, pain, sickness or death.
10 For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive. Jeremiah 29:11
In the context or restoration, God has a hope and a future for His world and especially His people.
Habakkuk 2:14 talks about the whole Earth being now in the process of being filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea. This is an exciting to be able to look forward to seeing everyone everywhere come to hear of and know about God so they can make a choice to follow Him. This will happen before Christ returns. The whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of His glory!
14 For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14 (NKJV)
Heaven must receive Jesus until God has brought the restoration of all things which He has been telling us about throughout the Old Testament. Jesus will come when all things are restored, where He will rule and reign.
21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:21 (NKJV)
Jesus will return the same way He came. In Acts 1:11 we read that Jesus will return in the same ‘manner’ as they saw Him leave Earth and go to heaven.
11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11 (NKJV)
In Malachi 4:5-6 we have a lovely prophesy about the hearts of the fathers being restored to their children and the children’s hearts to their fathers. This has been fulfilled through the ministry of John the Baptist. John came to restore people’s hearts to God through repentance.
God had planned all these and had showed this through what the prophets have said in the Old Testament.
70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,
Who have been since the world began, Luke 1:70 (NKJV)
The establishment of the new covenant
The process of restoration can only happen when we understand God’s heart for the pinnacle of His creation, His people. God’s heart is restoration of his relationship with mankind.
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. Revelation 21:3 (NKJV)
37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. 38 They shall be My people, and I will be their God; 39 then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me. 41 Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul.’ Jeremiah 32
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbour, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds[b] I will remember no more.”[c]
Three Key Meanings for Restore
The idea of restoration is key theme in the Bible. This is key concept that God wants us to know about as this is the heart of God and restoration is the key to the ‘good works’ God has created us for in the Earth.
There are two key words used in the OT for restore. The first talks about turning, returning and going back to the point of departure. The second one means to be save in mind, body or estate. To finish or complete so the thing is perfect. In the New Testament it means to restore health, a promise or covenant or giving a person back.
1. Shub – To turn, return, restore, bring back, retrieve, reverse.
15 And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.” Ruth 4:15 (NKJV)
Word Wealth: Restorer, shub (shoov); Strongs #7725: To turn back: turn, return, restore, bring back, retrieve, reverse,. Shub appears more more than 1,000 times in the OT. In the KJV, shub was translated in more than 60 different ways. Its usual sense is 'return'. (Ex+22:19), that is to go back to a point of departure. In a spiritual sense, it can mean to 'turn away ' from God (Num 14;43) or to 'repent', to turn away from one's sin and towards God (Hos 3:5).
2. Shalam – finish, complete, repay, reward
5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days. Hosea 3:5 (NKJV)
# Strongs #7999 Shalam (shaw-lam)
Means to be safe in mind, body or estate. Shalam means to finish, complete, repay, reward.
1. The Hebrew root denotes perfection in the sense that a condition or action is complete. Eg: Neh 6:15 when the wall of Jerusalem was finished.
2. Perfection and completeness is primarily attributed to God. He is deficient in nothing; His attributes are not marred by any short comings and His power is not by weakness. Eg: Job 41:11.
3. Israel's social law required one to meet his obligations in full either by equal replacement, double or fourfold.
4. Debts were not to be left unpaid.
5. Natural relationships were established on the basis of complete negotiations, making peace.
6. Shalem as a verb means 'to be complete - in 1 Kings 9:25 'So he finished the house. It also means to make peace.
3. Apokathistemi – restore health, a promise or covenant or giving a person back.
In the New Testament, apokathistemi means to restore health, a promise or covenant or giving a person back.
Strongs #600 apokathistemi (ap-ok-ath-is-tay-mee): means to reconstitute (in health, home or organization). This word is used:
1. Of restoration to a former condition of health (Mat 12:13)
2. Of the divine restoration of Israel and conditions affected by it including the renewal of the covenant broken by them. (Mt 17:11)
3. Of 'giving or bring a person back. Hebrews 13:19
The idea of restoration came through clearly as we read about the laws about restoring damaged property in the Old Testament. God gave very clear and strict laws on what to do if property was stolen or damaged. There was a process in which it had to be repaid, fixed or replaced in a very clear manner. The heart of this law is how we can view how God is planning and working to restore us individually and as a body, and redeem the whole world under Him.
3 If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. 4 If the theft is certainly found alive in his hand, whether it is an ox or donkey or sheep, he shall restore double.
5 “If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed, and lets loose his animal, and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard.
6 “If fire breaks out and catches in thorns, so that stacked grain, standing grain, or the field is consumed, he who kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.
7 “If a man delivers to his neighbor money or articles to keep, and it is stolen out of the man’s house, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. 8 If the thief is not found, then the master of the house shall be brought to the judges to see whether he has put his hand into his neighbor’s goods.
9 “For any kind of trespass, whether it concerns an ox, a donkey, a sheep, or clothing, or for any kind of lost thing which another claims to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whomever the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor. 10 If a man delivers to his neighbour a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any animal to keep, and it dies, is hurt, or driven away, no one seeing it, 11 then an oath of the Lord shall be between them both, that he has not put his hand into his neighbor’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept that, and he shall not make it good. 12 But if, in fact, it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to the owner of it. Exodus 22:3-12 (NKJV)
Three Key Aspects to Restoration
With the theme of restoration, we are looking at things being changed or renewed to its intended or former state. there are three different aspects that are portrayed in the Bible that we can learn from. The miraculous restoration, the natural restoration and the spiritual restoration.
1. The miraculous restoration from death to life.
a. The son Elisha restored to life
The boy was dead, but Elisha brought him back to life, or restored his life.
8 Then Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, “Arise and go, you and your household, and stay wherever you can; for the Lord has called for a famine, and furthermore, it will come upon the land for seven years.” 2 Kings 8:1 (NKJV)
5 Now it happened, as he was telling the king how he had restored the dead to life, that there was the woman whose son he had restored to life, appealing to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” 2 Kings 8:5 (NKJV)
b. The dried up or withered hand
The man's hand became withered through attempting to arrest the man of God. God restored his hand back to its original condition.
4 So it came to pass when King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, who cried out against the altar in Bethel, that he stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Arrest him!” Then his hand, which he stretched out toward him, withered, so that he could not pull it back to himself. 1 Kings 13:4 (NKJV)
6 Then the king answered and said to the man of God, “Please entreat the favour of the Lord your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me.”
So the man of God entreated the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored to him, and became as before. 1 Kings 13:6 (NKJV)
c. The withered hand
In this account, the man had his hand healed and brought back to working as designed with no blemish. It now functioned perfectly.
5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. Mark 3:5 (NKJV)
d. Restoration from blindness
The man's eyesight was brought back or restored, and he could now see and use his eyes as they were intended to function.
25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Mark 8:25 (NKJV)
2. Natural restoration
a. Restoring a man’s wife
Abraham told the people his wife was his sister, so she was taken by the king of the land. When the king found out he restored or gave back Sarah to Abraham.
7 Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.” Genesis 20:7 (NKJV)
14 Then Abimelech took sheep, oxen, and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham; and he restored Sarah his wife to him. Genesis 20:14 (NKJV)
b. Man's position
Joseph prophesied that the cup bearer would have his position restored or he would get back his original job.
13 Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler. Genesis 40:13 (NKJV)
21 Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. Genesis 40:21 (NKJV)
David said that he would give back to him all his grandfather's land. It would be restored to the rightful owner.
7 So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.” 2 Samuel 9:7 (NKJV)
d. Visit – bring back relationships in person.
That he would be brought back to be with them.
19 But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Hebrews 13:19 (NKJV)
Through sin, joy that we have when we receive God's salvation is lost. We need to come to God to have our joy restored or renewed through the Holy Spirit. We are restored when we seek forgiveness from God.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Psalm 51:11-12 (NKJV)
God has promised to bring back good health and to heal all injuries.
17 For I will restore health to you
And heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord,
‘Because they called you an outcast saying:
“This is Zion;
No one seeks her.”’ Jeremiah 30:17 (NKJV)
c. God’s Blessing
There are events and times that have taken or stolen things away from us, but God has promised to restore or repay us for these times.
25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,[a]
My great army which I sent among you. Joel 2:25 (NKJV)
God's plan is to restore all people including Jew and Gentile through Jesus who has come to bring salvation to all on the earth.
6 Indeed He says,
‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’” Isaiah 49:6 (NKJV)
15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:15 (NKJV)
God is now releasing sons into the world to bring restoration. This plan has been revealed and is being released into the Ecclesia / Church and there is coming a great uprising where the Earth is being transformed, renewed and most importantly restored as we both understand God’s plans and purposes and are equipped to bring restoration to the earth as Sons as we grow up and mature through hearing, learning and believing the true Apostolic doctrine.
We are looking forward to becoming the spotless bride and having completed our task in restoring the Earth in preparation of Jesus’ return. With excitement we can get out and pray, seek and act out God’s plans and expect God will do amazing things as we both know His will, pray for it to be established and go out and bring it to pass as sons of God.
21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:21