86. Restoration

Clifford Denton and Dave Hilsley

The word “Restoration” is used a lot in the Church today. God is indeed a restorer. He is a restorer of fellowship with Him. He is a restorer of family. He is a restorer of community. He is a restorer to His covenant people Israel. If we are in fellowship with Him then we too have a ministry of restoration. Yet, what are we to expect as God’s current ministry of restoration?

In this world today we see Israel being restored to their Land in preparation for their restoration, in national terms, to fellowship with Him. This is a special case of God’s restoration programme, which has been left until the end times as the culmination of the plan of salvation, but will be realised in its fullness through the period that is called “Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) But what of other nations?

There are many moves within the Church that are based on the view that we will see great moves of God to restore whole nations. Indeed, many believe that this is the Church’s commission so that the Spirit of God working in the Church prior to the return of Jesus the Messiah (Yeshua HaMashiach) will subdue even governments. This is very important to consider when we realise the strong Christian emphasis that there has been at the heart of some nations for many centuries, including Britain and America. The contrary view is that there will be a great falling away from even these nations as the return of Jesus draws nearer, and that this will result in an anti-Christian world alliance of all gentile nations. While we are to be witnesses throughout this period and do what can be done, this implies that the main goal of the Church is to seek to be one worldwide family scattered among the nations, fulfilling the restoration of this family to living in biblical truth. We consider that this is the correct interpretation of Scripture.

The Bible mentions two kinds of restoration in the Last Days and we need to understand what we are to do and what God alone can do, as we pray for the people of our nation in the coming days.

One restoration occurs before the Lord’s return and the other after His return.

There is a restoration that we are to seek to accomplish prior to the Lord’s return. This is the restoration of the family of God, as prophesied by Malachi. This is what Jesus mentioned in Matthew 17:11: “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things.” Prior to His return, the Lord’s purpose through us is the prophetic task of restoring the international family of God to a place of preparation for His return – a family scattered among the nations.

The other restoration (Acts 3:21) is what the Lord will do in the Millennium: “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” A misinterpretation of this passage has led to “Kingdom Now” and other such moves based on a Post Millennial view. This passage does not emphasise restoration, so much as time for restoration. The Lord will remain in Heaven until the time when He returns to restore the world and His Kingdom in the Millennium – a set time for this ministry.

We are to restore the family of God to its biblical foundations in preparation for His return. We will fail, however, to restore the world itself as a whole, or countries of the world, to be a sort of messianic kingdom. He alone will bring in His own Kingdom, as the Biblical Prophets have foretold, and we must wait for Him do this in His own time. The whole world will rise to a point where we see the need for His return as the only hope for the bringing in a righteous kingdom. This has major implications for our planning the way ahead – just consider it. This could help us to understand why God is letting all the gentile nations fall away prior to the end, while calling His own community, the One New Man of Messianic Jews and Gentiles, scattered across the world to be strengthened, waiting for the coming of Jesus. In our nations even like Britain and America, where there has been a strong Christian heritage, we must face up to a paradox. It is, on the one hand, not possible to become a nation that is a Christian society, but we should strive for it. This is a paradox that we will need to understand in our days of witness ahead. In the coming days, every nation as a whole will be shaken and warned even as each nation, as a whole, will turn towards co-operation that will result finally in the anti-christian coalition prior to the Lord’s return. It is no small thing to seek understanding of this and to turn to the task that God has given to strengthen the believing community in the context of the world apostasy, waiting for His Kingdom to come in its fullness on His return.

(This article was first published on the Tishrei Web site “familyrestorationmagazine”)