Table of Content
- Restoration – Etymology
- Restoration – The First Betrayals – satan, then Mankind
- Restoration – God’s Relationship with Mankind
- Restoration – Anticipated
- Restoration – of a Nation
- Restoration – The Individual
- Restoration – of Mankind
- Restoration – Final, of the Church
- Restoration – The Closing Word
And I will restore to you
the years that the locust hath eaten,
the cankerworm, and the caterpillar,
and the palmerworm,
My great army which I sent among you.
Why the name “Restoration Church”? Why not “Church of Rest,” “Restoring Church,” “Restore,” or “Re-stored Church”? Of course, all these have to do with the same definition and meaning but the all encompassing noun “Restoration” absorbs into its context the verb forms, the present and past participle, the imperfect forms, etc. of this powerful word, Restoration. This word is about bringing recovery to the sick, restitution to the destitute, reinstatement to the backslidden, reconstitution to the defrayed, replacement to the displaced, renewal to the old, rebirth to the dead and so on. Restoration means that we are in a constant state of having our broken lives repaired.
Restoration – Etymology
First off, let us be clear in our understanding. The word “restore” is not to be confused with the word “re-store” which carries the meaning of putting back, that is, in the sense of refilling or restocking (as in goods) so that an emptied storage space is restocked. This is not the restore that we are interested in, though our God, in His magnanimity does re-store our empty coffers when we have need. After all, Psalm 37:25 does say that “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” and that the Lord will “abundantly supply all our needs according to His riches in glory”, Philippians 4:19.
Interestingly and in our English language, the word “restore” is etymologically linked to “store” and “restaurant”; further, “store” is simply a shortened form of the now disappeared word “astor” which means “supplies, stock of provisions.” This word “astor” is borrowed from the Old French word “estor”, itself a derivative of the Old French word “estorer” (i.e. to build, restore, furnish, stock).
This Old French word “estorer,” hatched out of the Latin “instaurare” (i.e. renew, repair, restore), is the source of our current English words “restaurant” and “restore”. Etymologically a restaurant is a place where one is restored or refreshed; is it any wonder, then, that Psalm 23:3 says “He restoreth my soul”? No. Again, is it any wonder that Psalm 37:25 says “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” No. By the way, both of these verses introduce to us the concept of Individual Restoration (we will see more of this later). As an individual person, you can be restored, just like Joseph restored his brothers and he was himself ultimately restored by God. It also says Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
Now, for you as a person, at the mention of the word “restore,” “restored,” or “restoration” what first comes to mind? Most probably: hurt, fall from grace, the need to be put back up again, particularly, to a former or better condition, and more. That is alright because when you have been walked on, despised, abused, and betrayed, the God side of you would want to bring back to its former (better yet, a better) state the destroyed relationship or situation, even when the human side of you screams out “No way, that is it!” But for the believer, the Christ side of you gently desires to bring back from a state of ruin, decay, disease, the result of the assault on your compassionate side. Why is this so? Simply put, to restore. That is, to repair, to recover, to renew in order to fulfill the destroyed relationship; for example, Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Going back to go forward. That is the meaning of the various definitions provided in the preceding and they all point out something in common about restoration: that restoration reverts to the previous, the former and renews it to a better position; it takes you back as it does not restore “forward”; rather, it first takes you to a place where you once were or where you should have been all along and then brings you forward to a better position.
Inferring from the preceding, if you are a Christian, especially one who has been hurt, more so by another “believer” then you will understand the importance of restoration; restoration, both for you and for whoever inflicted the hurt. When you have been wounded by another Christian, picking up the pieces in order to forgive, reconcile and restore the individual(s) is no joking matter. Although pain is at times necessary, it is not so evident in such circumstances, and you tend to dwell on the hurt.
Restoration – The First Betrayals – satan, then Mankind
But do you know that from the human perspective, the first to be hurt was God our Creator? Yes, He was the first to receive hurt when satan, wanting to be like Him and wanting to be the be all in heaven rebelled against the Almighty’s authority; as if that was not enough, mankind, created in God’s image also followed suit, rebelling against God by disobeying Him.
Restoration – God’s Relationship with Mankind
Following along these lines and looking at God’s relationship with us, it becomes obvious that since God created us to worship and fellowship with Him, there was therefore a need to renew or to re-establish the harmony that existed between us and Him. The simple reason is because Adam and Eve’s sin led to a gulf, bringing us at variance with God. This is where the word “restore,” “restored,” or “restoration” comes into play, to humanity’s gain, of course.
Restoration – Anticipated
So then from the beginning, in the Book of Genesis, we see the concept and identity of restoration introduced. After the Flood of Noah’s era, the Lord restored the earth. And the Bible indeed ends with a declaration of the restoration of all things when God will make all things whole, Anticipated Restoration. This is also Restoration of Humans. As humans, we can and will be restored when the Lord makes all things new, the remedy of errors.
Restoration – of a Nation
But not so fast, though. There is a requirement. The Holy Bible says in II Chronicles 7:14
“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Here, it is evident that entire nations can be restored, as when the Israelites returned from captivity (Ezra and Nehemiah). This is the Restoration of a Nation. This was repeated in 1948 when Israel was physically restored as a nation.
Retracing history back to the Old Testament, we learn that the Book of Ezra is split mainly between the ministries two men: chapters 1-6 cover Zerubbabel who is a descendant of King David; and, chapters 7-10 cover Ezra, who traces his roots to Aaron (Moses’ brother) the priest. What we can surmise from this is that in the work of restoration the twin ministries of both a king and a priest are needed. How so? Well, the king’s task is both to build and rebuild whereas the priest’s key task is to cleanse.
Restoration – The Individual
To bring about restoration in an individual’s life, there is always a requirement of these twin ministries. Thus first, where there has been a breakdown, there is a need to rebuild the stray character. This is done when the character recognizes both the kingship and lordship of Jesus Christ in the human spirit. Without the recognition of God’s right to own, direct and transform us according to His will, the individual can never be rebuilt.
The other twin in the work of restoration is “cleansing,” which involves Jesus, our great High Priest who purifies both the spirit and the soul of those who surrender their lives to Him. Jesus is the only One who can do anything about our past (totally wash away our guilt, remembering our sins no more, Hebrews 10:17); our present (restore us for inhabitation by the Holy Spirit and fellowship with Him) and our future (restore us to eternal life with God).
Restoration – of Mankind
Beloved reader, do you see what I see, that our Father, “supplied” us with His Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ the Bread of Life and the Living Water, the manna which came down from heaven? As the Restorer, He ensures that we are fed and filled.
In tracing the etymology of the word “restore,” it highlights the linkage between the various peoples of the world, the diversity in unity in that we all came from a common ancestry, Adam, but were split at Babel, again as a result of man’s rebelliousness.
But what is the Bible’s definition of “restore” or “restoration”? I venture to say that the answer to this question lies in Job 42:10-12 where it says: “10And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. 12So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
Restoration – Final, of the Church
Is that not beautiful? This is very significant because we see a reflection of the final restoration, that of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s return for His bride, the Church. The Lord is returning in all His power, in all His majesty, in all His glory for us, those who have believed in Him as Lord and Saviour who today constitutes His body, the Church. His return for the Church is the final restoration which was promised since the fall of Adam and Eve. This is the Restoration for the Church, Restoration to the Church. We the Church are being prepared for Christ. As we said at the beginning, restoration takes us back and in this case, back to the place where the church once stood in her former glory.
Dear reader, I do not know if you are aware of it but for this restoration to take place, the Almighty God has already put into motion the flow of His power and purity, and without measure. Acts 3:21 boldly asserts “The restoration of all things,” whether Israel or the earth to its original condition prior to the fall of Adam and Eve has already been in progress.
If you are saved, have you lost the joy of your salvation? If you have, then I have good news for you. In Psalm 51:12, David says: “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” What he did not say was “Restore unto me thy salvation,” but rather, the joy of his eternal security. So as a child of God who has gone wayward, has become a backslider, the Lord is ever so ready to restore the lost joy of your salvation. And when you are restored (i.e. awareness of forgiveness), your joy will return, and on this strength minister to others as an ambassador for Christ.
If you are unsaved, then remember that the Lord is ready to restore you to a brand new relationship with Him. After all, it is not what you do, it is not your works that saves you; instead, it is what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross; He died for your sins. Baptism will not save you. Communion will not save you. Confirmation will not save you. Your church will not save you. Rosaries will not save you. Your money, will not save you. Being born into a Christian home will not save you. Only Christ can, when you tell Him you are sorry for your sins and want to be restored to a relationship with Him, and have Him as your Lord and Saviour. He will immediately accept and fully restore you.
Reader, accept Christ’s free offer and say this prayer: “Dear Father, I want to be restored into a relationship with You right now. Jesus, I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Please come into my heart and life and make me whole. Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me Thy great salvation so rich, so free. Amen”
If you have prayed this prayer, would you kindly contact us so we can rejoice with you and show you what the next steps in your life should entail.