PROCESS OF RESTORATION
God has always been in the process of restoration and the highlight of all restoration, revival, and reformation is Christ. It must all bring us to Christ. It must help us grow in Christ by allowing Him to be formed in us. The Reformation brought into light the “justification by faith” message, which began with Paul the apostle in His writings and in the 1500s, it was boldly declared again by Martin Luther. This is where the understanding of the gifts and the five-fold graces of Christ was restored.
This does not mean that individuals did not function in these graces before the stipulated time, rather, there was a corporate restoration of gifts in the Church and an increased understanding of it. So, in a whole, the government of God which is the government of His Kingdom is being restored by Christ Himself.
This does not speak of a single man, but a government which releases the fullness and newness of power and demonstration of the spirit. God has also imparted His seven-fold spirit upon His Church which is the one new man in Christ. There is no end to the increase of the government of God.
THE FOUR PILLARS
Acts 2:42 – “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
The early believers who were added to the church on the day of Pentecost engaged themselves in four basic activities regularly through which the church was built and which also dictated their way of life:
- Apostles’ doctrine,
- Breaking of Bread, and
The Greek rendering for the word, “steadfastly” is (προσκαρτερέω) “proskartereo” which is to continue to do something with intense effort, despite the difficulty.
Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary:
From G4314 and G2594; to be earnest towards, that is, (to a thing) to persevere, be constantly diligent, or (in a place) to attend assiduously all the exercises, or (to a person) to adhere closely to (as a servitor): – attend (give self) continually (upon), continue (in, instant in, with), wait on (continually).
Thayer’s Greek Definitions:
- to adhere to one, be his adherent, to be devoted or constant to one,
- to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing,
- to continue all the time in a place,
- to persevere and not to faint,
- to show one’s self courageous for,
- to be in constant readiness for one, wait on constantly.
- firm and unwavering in purpose, loyalty, or resolve,
- persistently, consistently, with conviction, unwaveringly, unfalteringly.
“…to persist steadily in action or belief, usually over a long period and especially despite problems or difficulties.”
So what is expressed here is that they are consistently displaying strength in purpose. They are moving in a planned and fixed direction. They did not only follow the four pillars on occasions, or when they felt like it, or because it looked right. They were faithful, firm and wholly devoted to it.
The apostles had a very specific doctrine which is spread in the whole book of the Acts of the Apostles. The Church for a long time has missed it. They learned it from Jesus Himself. This is what they taught as they had received it from Christ and His spirit.
Acts 5:28 – “Saying, We definitely commanded and strictly charged you not to teach in or about this Name, yet here you have flooded Jerusalem with your doctrine and you intend to bring this Man’s blood upon us.”
The Council of the elders of Israel were speaking to Peter and the other apostles. They had warned the apostles not to teach in the name of Jesus but here, they were boldly teaching in His name. This is the apostles’ doctrine which not only filled Jerusalem but also the entire known Greco-Roman world. It spread like wildfire. This doctrine is what released ‘dunamis’ power. It released the testimony and as a witness, they had a specific doctrine which they clung to and even died for.
Acts 1:8 – “But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.”
This doctrine was with power. The apostles turned the world upside down. The church lacks power today because of a lack of understanding of the apostles’ doctrine.
TESTIMONY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
John 15:26 – “But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He [Himself] will testify regarding Me.”
What the Church needs today is an in-depth understanding of the testimony of the Holy Spirit because world religions are on the rise and they want total dominance. Islam wants total dominance in the world. We cannot convince them as they are ready to sacrifice their lives for their religion.
A theological debate will not turn them around. What will turn them around is the demonstration of the Spirit of Christ. The true demonstration of Christ will break the walls. We must go out in the streets and the world around us with the wisdom and power of the Spirit and in love.
Jesus told His disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they received power from on high. To follow instruction is the primary rule in discipleship.
Acts 1:4 – “And while being in their company and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised, Of which [He said] you have heard Me speak.”
Jesus said the Holy Spirit will testify and then the apostles will also bear witness.
John 15:26-27 – “But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He [Himself] will testify regarding Me. But you also will testify and be My witnesses, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”
Acts 5:32 – “And we are witnesses of these things, and the Holy Spirit is also, Whom God has bestowed on those who obey Him.”
There must be a dual testimony to harvest the world in this generation. The Church is irrelevant to many because many believers lack the power to witness Christ through their lives. There are others who are trying to make the church relevant to the world by looking like the world, singing like the world, performing like the world, living like the world, conforming to the patterns of the world to please the world, and that is not the relevancy of the Gospel.
The relevancy of any generation is when the power of God and the wisdom of God come on display. Everything is in the process of restoration in Christ. This testimony must not be lost or ignored because the Holy Spirit was sent to bear witness with us and our testimony.
Revelation 12:11 – “And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony, for they did not love and cling to life even when faced with death [holding their lives cheap till they had to die for their witnessing].”
This testimony is not only the one that is a history of your life. You can overcome by the blood of the Lamb of God: the lamb that has given you direct access to the throne of grace and also to be a testimony. A part of your testimony is your history, your deliverance from Adam to your new birth in Christ. A true testimony is found in Christ alone. The book of the Acts of the Apostles reveals this, which we will explore in the upcoming studies.