2Chronicles 24:13: So those who were engaged in the work labored, and the repairing went forward in their hands, and they restored the house of God to its proper condition and strengthened it.
In the history of the church, the 1000 years before the reformation of Martin Luther can be described as one in which the church experienced degradation. The truths which are pillars of the church were pulled down and the whole church was in shambles. But there came Martin Luther restoring the truth of the centrality of Jesus rather than the centrality of the church, the truth of the inner life of faith, instead of the public life of religion and rituals as prescribed by men but alien to the scriptures or the tenets of the apostles of Jesus Christ including Paul. In those pre-Martin Luther years, the wrong ideas had taken root, and the right ones rooted out and things askew.
With Luther, the reformation of the church commenced in earnest. It is noteworthy that each wave of reformation comes with its own excesses, having its limitations. And there is need to look at the reformation that has come before, take what is useful for the reformation that our generation is called to move on with, learn from the past but realise that there are unique opportunities for the reformation work for today. The goal is clear, the church needs to be built up in truth till we are attain the fullness of the statue of Christ, not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, matured in every way (Ephesians 4:1-16).
In a way the reformation movement has all but largely ended, and the reformation movement has all but evolved into the restoration movement. Reformation has to do with structure, i.e. the establishment of the five-fold ministries of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Teacher, Pastor (with the primary task of preaching the word) in their right standing in the church, and the emphasis of the priesthood of the individual Christians, the right to a one on one relationship with God.
Bur restoration is about bringing everyone up to speed in their rulership functionality as members of the body of Christ. (The reformation emphasises priesthood, the restoration emphasises kingship [Revelation 1:6, 1Peter 2:9]).
Reformation is the formation of the general identity of what the church really is, while restoration is the realisation of the full functionality of the individual part of the body of Christ, you and I.
In the reformation movement, the “one man show” in the church was an highlight, now the emphasis is for individuals to realise their purpose under God and walk fully in it, regardless of their state or estate in life. In the restoration movement, the line between the secular and the spiritual blurs. In the reformation movement, the focus is separation from the world, but in the restoration movement, the focus is dominion on the earth. In the reformation movement, the focus in going to heaven, in the restoration movement, the focus is bringing heaven to the earth.
Ministries that still emphasise the “one man show” would begin to fade away while the churches that emphasise the functionality of the individuals in the body of Christ are those that have fully keyed in to the restoration dimension of the move of God on the earth as it is now.
While the reformation peaks at the elevation of the five-fold ministries in the church, restoration is moving towards the dominion expression of individual Christians in all spheres of life, moving in the power of God.
Churches that will be more effective in the restoration era of the church which is where we are now are those who are effective in building people in their spiritual function and in leveraging on their areas of natural and spiritual strength to enhance the kingdom of God.
While the mantra for the reformation movement is separation, the mantra the restoration movement is engagement; reformation is about encampment from the culture; restoration is about influencing the culture.
The reformation build the people in the truth of who we are, but the restoration focused on what we do with that truth, creating a people most sort after, providing solutions to the problems of the world. World leaders will regularly consult with the church to show them the way to go in the challenges on the earth. They will say: teach us the ways of the Lord (Isaiah 2:1-3).
David saved the day when Goliath challenged and threatened to overwhelm the nation of Israel under spiritually-estranged Saul. David had experiences (in small things) both with the bear and the lion, and was able to deal with Goliath (big thing).
David emerged as a leader because he was able to solve a problem that kept the army of Israel awake for forty days. Overnight became a superstar, from the obscurity of the wilderness. He was for Israel the one who saves them from their enemies (1Samuel 17, 2Samuel 19:9-10).
The nation was at the risk of becoming the slave of another nation and David came to the rescue. From that day, they could not do without him.
Joseph stood up to be counted when Egypt was confronted with the challenge of starvation, the harshness of the weather, an impending famine. Because he had the solution, he was made the prime minister, with the dominion mandate. This was a slave, a foreigner but was handed the key to the greatest nation of the world at that time because he had the solution to a projected downward trend in the economy of the nation of Egypt. Joseph also came from obscurity to instantly become a ruler (Genesis 41).
And there was Daniel, the iconic public administrator who was hotly sought after by the successive invaders of Babylon, because he brings something different to the affairs of government and was therefore indispensable. He was outstanding in the intellectual arena, and almost overnight became the toast of the palace in Babylon. He was a problem solver.
David, Joseph and Daniel, had worldwide influence. They brought solutions to their world. It means you are as valuable as what you can offer, and the benefit you can bring to others.
Each of them expressed strong devotion to God prior to coming to the limelight. Born in obscurity, they were committed to God in difficult circumstances, and they ended up rubbing shoulders with kings by the design of God. They humbled themselves under the mighty hand of God and He elevated them in due time (1Peter 5:6). In the times of difficulty on the earth, the church has the opportunity to emerge and take charge.
God is not necessarily for or against any system but he can use them to his own glory, and he will set it up that his people get to the heights of the scheme of things, to bring glory to his name, helping to release his people, the church into the new phase for it.
David when he became Israel’s king was used by God to silence the enemies of Israel, setting the stage for the peaceful reign of his son Solomon, to the benefit and prosperity of the nation. Joseph was used by God to provide a place in Egypt for the formation of the nation of Israel, a place where their population can explode, away from the harshness of the wilderness where their fathers stayed. And Daniel definitely protected the interest of Jews while he was in the foreign land and Judah was in exile, helping to highlight the supremacy of the God of Israel in the darkened days of the pagan kings, ruling the earth, giving special attention to God’s people (Daniel 6:26).
The church which is not a building but a group of people, supported by God and through strategic development and positioning will take over on the earth. The reformation is the putting in order of the church mountain and restoration is for the church to take over in the politics, administration, economics, through her seasoned sons and daughters who prophesy, dream dreams and see visions. They take over in all realms of human existence; the children of God will be channels for God to touch the whole earth.
The earth and the people in it were fully influenced by God (prior to the fall of Adam and Eve) and through the church, the earth will be restored, with the manifestation of the sons of God (Romans 8:19-23), which is what the whole earth is waiting for to enter into their freedom from sin and decay. When the Sons are fully restored the earth will be fully restored and the whole earth will be full of the glory of God (Habakkuk 2:14) as the water cover the sea. It’s better you become a Christian, because these things I am writing are inevitable.
- Hermeneutics and the Restoration Movement (Part Two) (messageandmovement.com)
- Hermeneutics and the Restoration Movement (Part One) (messageandmovement.com)
- Hermeneutics and the Restoration Movement (Part Three) (messageandmovement.com)
- The First Gospel: Genesis 3:15 (sealedministries.wordpress.com)
- Essays on Martin Luther And The Reformation (mybestessay1000.wordpress.com)