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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Work of Restoration, #41
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
The believer who would take up the work of restoration must be prepared to bear the ridicule of worldly people, including the "mixed multitude" who today are "worshiping" in the same buildings as the true saints of God.
But all the truly godly will respect the work of restoration. Every person who possesses the Spirit of God will be alerted by the Spirit to the fact that the work is of Him.
So we are to press ahead with all joy and confidence, knowing that God has called us to the work of restoration. We are persuaded what God has begun, God will bring to glorious completion. One day it will be clear that the work has been of God all along. Then we will be rejoicing and praising the Lord and it will be our adversaries who are ashamed when they behold the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ in the saints.
Gaining the Kingdom of God
We mentioned before the design of restoration: one, glory; two, rebellion against the Lord; three, bondage; four, restoration; and five, the receiving of the double portion of glory. This is the story of the prodigal son, of mankind on the earth, of Samson, of most of us. It is also the pattern of the history of the Church of Christ beginning with the first century of the Christian Era.
The Church finally will attain the double portion of the Glory of the Lord God, and the world will receive its portion of the glory at the hand of the Church. There is no doubt whatever about that. The Scriptures are clear enough.
But in that day the saints will possess the glory, instead of the glory being as a gift that has been given to us but which we are unable to understand, profit from, or hold. When the glory is received the second time it will be our possession forever.
One hot summer day some years ago my two sons and myself started up the side of a steep hill. Because of the high weeds the younger boy was not able to keep up with us. So I picked him up and carried him on my shoulders.
When we reached the top of the hill the smaller boy was rejoicing that he had reached the top ahead of his older brother, who was struggling through the tall weeds fifty yards down the side of the hill.
I said to the little boy sitting on my shoulders, "You came up on Dad's shoulders but your brother is climbing the hill by himself. One day you will be able to climb the hill by yourself."
This is the story of the Christian Church. In the first century the Church was given the power of the Holy Spirit, the revelation of the Word, the miracles and wonders that caused people to receive Christ. The Church was in one accord and met in private homes. Each saint had a personal experience with Christ. The apostles and prophets were ministers among them as they worshiped and served the Lord Jesus.
But this was as the younger, smaller boy being carried by his father. The Lord was performing all the work by intervening in sovereign power—particularly through His apostles. God bore His elect on eagles' wings.
During the following centuries, the Lord diminished the extent of His direct interventions. As a result many of the gifts and graces of the Spirit were lost. They could not be held by the churches.
To be continued.