Thursday, October 7, 2010
We believe in the biblical principle of restoration. God made everything in the world "very good". (Genesis 1:31) Yet, Adam's sin and Satan's rebellion caused much destruction. God's plan of redemption not only saves us from damnation, it also restores the damage that was caused.
That restoration is first personal. Our spirit, soul, and body are redeemed. However, God's restoration is also general, and includes everything in the world. Personal restoration is better known in the Christian world, while world restoration is better known in the Jewish world. The New Covenant includes both.
The traditional Jewish prayer, "Aleinu" (It is incumbent upon us), which closes every service, three times per day, makes a petition - - "to repair the world in the kingdom of El Shaddai." The word here for "repair" is - - "Tikkun." [This is the name we use for our cooperative ministries with Dan Juster, Don Finto, David Rudolph, Eitan Shishkoff and Paul Wilbur.]
World restoration (Tikkun) is central not only to our ministry, but to the worldview of the kingdom of God. There are five passages in the New Covenant that speak specifically of world restoration.
1. Matthew 17 - The Church
2. Romans 11 - The Messianic remnant
3. Matthew 19 - Natural Creation
4. Acts 1 - Kingdom of Israel
5. Acts 3 - All Things
Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.
Yeshua prophesies that someone in the spirit and power of Elijah will come "first" - that means before Yeshua returns. The "days of Elijah" restoration will take place before the 2nd Coming. The phrase, "all things," cannot mean all things in the world, because that will only happen after Yeshua returns. This restoration is parallel to the prophecy that "the bride will make herself ready." (Revelation 19:7) The elements of the kingdom of God will be restored within the community of faith before Yeshua returns. When He returns, what is within the people of God will be revealed and given to the nations. A central theme of prophetic ministry in our generation is the restoration of the true Church as we approach the 2nd Coming.
What will their restoration be but life from the dead?
There will also be a restoration of the Messianic remnant of Israel. This dual restoration can be seen in Revelation 7:4 and 9. The elements to be restored are those found in the early community of faith in the book of Acts. There we see sacrificial love, extravagant giving, bold evangelism, miraculous signs, and unity of the saints.
The end times remnant of Israel will be even stronger than the apostolic community of the first century (Romans 11:12). The revival of the end times will be greater than the revival they experienced (Acts 2:17). The Messianic remnant will be a key element leading to the resurrection of the dead.
In the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
As both the international Church and the remnant of Israel come into their fullness (Romans 11:15 and 25), they will together call upon Yeshua to return (Matthew 23:39, Revelation 22:20). At that time the kingdom of God will be established on the earth for a thousand years. This Millennial kingdom will include two key elements.
The first is "regeneration." The Hebrew translation says, "renewal of creation." The Greek original is paliggenesia - pali means "again" and "genesia" means "genesis" like creation in the book of Genesis. Natural creation will be redeemed (Romans 8:19-22). The heavens and earth will be renewed as they were immediately after the flood of Noah (II Peter 3:3-5). People will begin to live longer lives (Isaiah 65:17, 20).
The second element is a world wide kingdom with its capital in Jerusalem.
Will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?
The apostles expected Yeshua to restore the Davidic kingdom immediately upon His resurrection from the dead. However, He told them they first had to receive the Holy Spirit and preach the gospel to the nations. His kingdom was to be international, not just Israelite; and spiritual, not just governmental. It is a renewal and expansion of the Davidic kingdom (Isaiah 2:2-4). The former dominion will be restored (Micah 4:8).
Yeshua will sit upon His throne in Jerusalem; the apostles will sit on twelve thrones governing the tribes of Israel. Those who have "followed Him" will sit on thrones governing the rest of the nations - when Yeshua returns in glory (Matthew 16:27; 19:28; 24:30; 24:46-47; 25:21; 25:31; 26:64).
Whom the heavens must receive until the time of the restoration of all things; which God has spoken by the mouth of all His prophets since the world began.
Ultimately, God will restore all things. There is nothing that will not be restored. This includes everything planned at creation; everything prophesied to Israel; everything promised to the Church. It includes all things in heaven and earth (Ephesians 1:10). God's commitment to restore all things is a source of great hope and encouragement to us all.