Refreshing, Restoration and Return

And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

— Ephesians 1:22-23 (NKJV)

God has made Jesus head over all things. How does this affect your personal life, your family, your church – and the Church?


Refreshing, Restoration and Return

In Acts 3:19-21, the apostle Peter outlined what God expects from all people, in all places, before the close of the age. He said:
 
"Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 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."

We can summarise God’s plan for redemption in four English words, all of which begin with the letters RE. The first RE in Peter’s sermon was repentance. We go on to Acts 3:21 where we get the next word that begins with RE which is restoration, the restoration of all things.

By implication, although it’s not said specifically, it says heaven must receive Jesus Christ until the period of restoration of all things. And in that period of restoration of all things the implication is He’s going to leave heaven and come back to Earth as King to reign in glory. So the key word there is return.

One thing that is being restored is the spiritual, supernatural gifts of the Spirit. That’s important because I don’t believe anything can really fulfil God’s purpose until we have the supernatural restored. God doesn’t operate just on the natural plane. I once read through the book of Acts, which has 28 chapters, and which I consider to be the inspired picture of what the Church should be like. I asked myself this question: What would it be like if every reference to the manifested supernatural were to be removed? When I say manifested supernatural I’m not talking about things like the new birth, which is supernatural, but it’s not manifest but internal and invisible. I’m talking about things that can be perceived by the senses. So, I read through the book of Acts asking myself what would have to be left out. Do you know what I discovered? Not one of the 28 chapters would be left intact. So, in a sense it is not accurate to talk about New Testament Christianity without the supernatural element.

What is also being restored is what we call the ministry gifts, which are listed in Ephesians 4:11: apostles, prophets, evangelists and teachers. Also being restored, in the same category and yet a little different, is the ministry of elders, who are the leaders of the local congregation. Many years ago, I started teaching about elders because I saw it there in the pages of the New Testament and if it’s in the New Testament it ought to be taught. Generally speaking, the reaction of people at that time was, “Elders! What are elders?” There has been a tremendous change because today you can go to almost any city where the Word of God has come, at least in the western world, and people talk about the elders; the elders of the city, the elders of the church. So, things are developing.


PRAYER

Dear Father, I’m longing for the restoration of all things but, at this point, I pray for the restoration of Your Church. Please help me, and also the leaders of Your Church, to read Your Word with fresh eyes, without preconceived ideas, and to apply the truths and concepts we find, so that Your Church will come to its full potential, for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


These messages are taken from Derek Prince's audio teaching series, The Headship of Jesus, available in our webshop here.