“Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution [restoration] of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began”
The very fact of Jesus’ profound statement in Mt. 16:18—“Upon this rock I will build My church”— implied that some important spiritual things had been lost through the ages and needed to be restored. God had in fact called prophets under the Old Covenant and anointed them to prophesy that He would restore His church as it was in the beginning, and perfect it under the terms and power of the New Covenant (Jer. 31.31-33; Isa. 60.1-5; Amos 9.11; Mal. 4.1-6; 3.1-12; Mt. 3.9-12; 17.11-13; Acts 3.21; 15.14-18; Eph. 2.11-19; 3.6; 4.11-16; 5.27; Rev. 19.7-8; et al.).
History does not lie. God’s house had gotten into terrible shape because men began to replace divine teachings and holy practices with men-made ideas and traditions, injecting these corruptions into their worship and religious practices; thus deviating from God’s original plan (Mt. 15.7-14; 21.28-44; Acts 2.14-36; Gal. 3.1-29; Col. 2.6-23; 1 Pet. 2.4-10).
The time we are living in today is no different. This is the very reason that Zion Assembly was set in order in 2004; that is, to restore important doctrines and practices that had been lost or forsaken in the previous generations— things vital to salvation and the true nature of the church.
This spirit of “falling away” seems to be everpresent. I’ve heard people say just recently that “things are not like they used to be” and “times are different,” implying that we should compromise Gospel truths in order to flow with the times. In some sense, of course, I concur with these statements, for we must keep up with the times in regard to practical matters. But I disagree with changing divine truths and principles; for the Bible does not change. The writer declares in Ps. 119:89, “Thy word is settled in heaven.” And the prophet states in Is. 40:8, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God shall stand forever.” And again, the Revelator wrote in Rev. 22:18-19, “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
My question then is: ‘How precious is the Word of God to us in these last days?’ The word precious means “that which is of a high value.” To the sincere child of God there is nothing that carries more value than the Word of God.
Consider what a certain anonymous writer had to say about the Bible. “This Book contains the mind of God; the state of man; the doom of the sinner; the way of salvation; and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy; its precepts are binding; its stories are true; and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise; believe it to be safe; and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you; food to support you; and comfort to cheer you. It’s the traveler’s map; the pilgrim’s staff; the pilot’s compass; the soldier’s sword; the Christian’s character. Here is paradise restored; heaven opened; and the gates of hell disclosed. CHRIST is its grand subject; our good its design; and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the laborer, and condemns all who trifle with its contents!”
When you consider that there are at least 100 passages in the Bible about restoring God’s church on this earth, then quite apparently the implication is that something needs to be restored; correspondingly, therefore, something must have been lost. The word “restoration” means “to put back like it was, to reorganize, to reclaim, to set back up.” This is the very reason for the existence of Zion Assembly. We were set in order (or re-set in order) to “reclaim” and “set back up” vitally important teachings and practices that had been lost or abandoned by the previous generations. Now this restoration was necessary not only to reclaim what had been lost: but also so that we in these very last days might press forward to fulfill what has never been achieved—namely, the gathering together of all of God’s people in one body and the perfection of the church!
Think about gold for a moment. Just a few years ago it was worth more than $1500 per ounce. Pure gold or 24 carat gold to my knowledge is of the greatest value. But, as the saying goes, “everything that glitters is not gold.” There’s some “gold” that looks like the real thing but when you take it to a professional appraiser he will tell you the real truth about it. It’s called “fool’s gold.”
Years ago crooked men would “salt” the creek banks and caves with just enough of fool’s gold to sell the land or mineral rights to make money—“filthy lucre.” We’re living in a day now when people seek a church that is consistent with the way they believe. They have “itching ears,” that is, they want preachers to sanction their wrong doings and justify them. But, see, just because a church or religious group believes the way it does, doesn’t make it right. There are many fools in religion just as there are fools in secular businesses and politics!
Thank God for Zion Assembly and her stand on biblical truth—on the teachings of Christ and the apostles. We are striving to uncover the whole truth of God’s Word, and to put these truths into practice. We are endeavoring to restore true worship. We are endeavoring to restore biblical marriages, the sanctity of godly unions. We are endeavoring to restore true holiness through the experience of entire sanctification. We have been “called out” by God through divine revelation to “walk by the same rule” and “speak the same thing.” We are endeavoring to establish the unity of the Spirit among God’s people through covenant union and Gospel discipline.
And when this unity prevails it won’t be long before we hear the sound of the trumpet and these prophetic words, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints” (Re. 19:7-8).
Until then let’s keep on singing and preaching and reaching out to the lost and the “other sheep.” Be assured, brethren, the prophetic promises will be fulfilled. What God has said will surely come to pass. His word cannot be broken and will be fulfilled. Amen!