You’re never too old to learn something.
I wrote a book few years ago called, “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age,” the main title an allusion to the Apostle Peter’s words in Acts 3:21, a reference to the coming Kingdom to be established at the return of Jesus to Earth, which was the central theme of the book.
My wife, Elizabeth, and I were doing a Bible study when I mentioned Peter’s words. She asked me if I ever looked up the word “restitution” in the Greek lexicon to see other meanings. I couldn’t really recall if I had during the research of the book more than a few years ago. I thought it was an odd question, but I’ve learned over the years to heed her intuition. It turned out to be inspired.
Before I tell you what I learned, let me give you a little background.
When I was choosing a title for the book, I went back and forth between “restitution” and “restoration.” I generally liked “restoration” better, but I had decided to use all King James Version translation for simplicity – and KJV used “restitution.”
Peter, imbued with the Holy Spirit on the Hebrew feast of Shavout, or Pentecost as most Christians call it, goes to the Temple to shout the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection to thousands of Jews from all over the world gathering for the holy convocation.
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord,” he tells the crowd in Acts 3:19-21. “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”
Peter notes, a second time, in Acts 3:24, that Jesus the Messiah had come to fulfill what all the Hebrew prophets of old had foretold: “Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.”
Jesus will come back to Earth, Peter is saying, to usher in a glorious, paradise-like Kingdom. This presentation of the “Gospel of the Kingdom,” as Jesus called it, had a profound effect on the crowd that day, and some 5,000 became believers – messianic Jews, we would call them today. They knew about this Kingdom and they responded. I called this Kingdom “a forgotten component of the Gospel,” one that needs to be refreshed, renewed, rediscovered by today’s believers.
So, I took Elizabeth’s advice and went to the Strong’s Greek Lexicon and found something stunning.
What did it say? There were three translations offered of the Greek word “apokatastasis”:
Not surprisingly, “restoration” was one.
But the second definition was more specific: “restoration of a true theocracy.”
And the third was even more shocking: “restoration of the perfect state before the fall.”
What’s so amazing about that is that two of the major prophets – Isaiah and Ezekiel – actually compared this future Kingdom under divine leadership would be like the Garden of Eden. But who knew the Greeks even had such a specific word for the occasion?
It seems Peter, under the guidance if the Holy Spirit, chose his words well that day.
Not to mention, Elizabeth’s hunch was a good one.
Later, I finished my latest title, “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament,” and I am more convinced than ever that what Jesus called “the Gospel of the Kingdom” is an overlooked major component of the Good News, not to mention the key that helped me find it in all 39 books of the Hebrew Scriptures. Even more so, I continue to be amazed at the miraculous consistency and integrity of the Bible, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by about 40 different authors over 3,400 years.
Does that finding blow your mind the way it did for me?
That’s why I’m always shocked by the Bible’s authenticity.
Have a fruitful Day of Atonement!
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