The Pattern – Part Three
Today God is restoring His Church to the same life and power that enabled Christianity to influence and impact the known world in Bible times in one generation. The principle of restoration is one of the most foundational in all of Scripture. It rests on the belief that God’s original works reveal unblemished patterns and blueprints in creation. It also assumes that fallen sinful man tends to stray from the original pattern over time. As man strays, he loses his life and he needs restoration.
The principle appears first in Genesis. In the beginning when man sinned, he lost all God originally had intended for him. He lost his fellowship with God, and as a sinner he could not fulfill his original, God-given purpose. But God immediately made a way for mankind to be reconciled and restored. The Lord established the plan of redemption. Jesus is mentioned first in the book of Genesis.
Genesis 3:15 “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
The Mosaic Law instituted restoration into civil regulations of the land. It required the return of stolen goods to their owners — with interest.
Exodus 22:1 “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.”
Exodus 22:6 “If fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, he who started the fire shall make full restitution.”
King Solomon echoed the principle in his wisdom writings.
Proverbs 6:30-31 “People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry, but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house.”
Adam and Eve had enjoyed God’s perfect order in the earth until they sinned. Later, the Church followed a similar path. The Church was born following an original visitation of the Holy Spirit. The visitation revealed God’s original design for the Church. Truth and power characterized life among first-century believers; however, soon human pride and sin led Christians astray from the God-given pattern. As a result they lost the life they enjoyed and needed restoration.
The Church was just newly born when Peter preached about the end of its history. Between the beginning and the end, believers woulda enjoy times of refreshing as a result of their faith in Christ (Acts 3:19). Eventually Jesus would return for His bride. Peter said Jesus would return only after all things spoken of by the prophets had been restored.
Acts 3:20-21 “that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”
The Bible declares that God is restoring His Church and that He will continue to restore it until it is the glorious bride of Christ.
Ephesians 5:27 “so that he might present the church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”
If God is restoring the Church, and if the Church will conform to the glorious pattern, then discovering the pattern becomes absolutely essential.
Humanists view man as his own god and believe man is perfectible without God’s help. They think humanity is regressing over time and that things continue to improve as a result of new discoveries and achievements. They do not recognize designs or patterns in origins. They assume everything began in a primitive form and steadily gets better on its own. They see no need for restoration of things that get better by themselves.
Many, even in the Church, have been trained by educators, the media, and politicians to think like humanists. If they believe the Church is automatically progressing, getting better over time, then restoring an original pattern is irrelevant to them.
I am convinced that before the return of the Lord, the Church will be restored according to God’s design!