This is the second in a series on Acts 3 and the Restoration of All Things. Be sure to read the first article.
THE NATURE OF THE RESTORATION
The nature of the restoration of Israel anticipated by the prophets is an extremely important issue. The millennialists insist that there must be a literal national restoration. The amillennialist and postmillennialist each espouse the view that the restoration was to be in Christ and spiritual. This is more Biblically correct.
Jesus rejected the overtures to be nationalistic king (John 6:15). He emphatically said his kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). He said the kingdom was to be “within” and, “does not come with observation” (Luke 17:20-21).
In Acts 2 Peter shows that Christ had been raised to sit on the throne of David in the heavenly places, not on earth. Yet this was in fulfillment of the promise to David. In Acts 15 James affirmed that with the ascension of Jesus and the establishment of the church the “Tabernacle of David” was being restored in fulfillment of Amos 9. Old Covenant Israel was the type and shadow of the “good things to come” (Colossians 2:14f; Hebrews 10:1-4) and was never intended to be the ultimate expression of God’s kingdom.
Jesus declared explicitly that John the Immerser was the anticipated Elijah/restorer (Matthew 17:10-12). Yet it is abundantly clear that John’s work, as Elijah, was relational and spiritual, not nationalistic.
The spiritual nature of the restoration is indicated in Acts 3. Peter says, “repent, so that… he may send Jesus”; the parousia was dependent on Israel’s repentance, not national resurgence. Notice the correlation between “repent so that He may send Jesus” and, “whom the heavens must receive until the restoration of all things.” The parousia of Jesus was tied directly to (Israel’s) repentance/restoration. Peter says that God had sent Jesus to Israel to bless them; not in national restoration, but in turning them away from iniquity (Acts 3:26).
All of this is devastating to the Dominionist, Postmillennial doctrine that demands– just like the Dispensationalists– the restoration of a physical utopia on earth. In my debate with Joel McDurmon, he claimed that Jesus will one day rule on earth, in a physical body, on a literal throne. But, Peter, speaking of the restoration of all things foretold by the prophets, said not one word about such a carnal, materialistic hope. The DVDs of my debate with McDurmon are available, and I urge you to get a copy and study them carefully. They can be ordered here. More on Acts 3 and the Restoration of all things coming.