A World Restored

an article based on a sermon

by Jon Bowles

given FOT 9 October 2006

The Feast of Tabernacles points to an absolutely glorious time! It will be a time when the entire world is going to be restored. Restored back under the Government and Way of God. But what will be our place in that future restoration? And are there aspects of that restoration we need to understand now, today -- so we can be better prepared when it comes?

Let us look at this restoration process, specifically in the following five areas:

The Church Today That Needs To Be Restored

The indication from scripture is that before the end of this age comes, there is going to be a restoration of the Church. "Haggai" means "My festival" -- ("hag" means "feast" or "festival") -- describing the Festival of God.

Haggai 1:2-5 Thus speaketh the Eternal1 of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Eternal's house should be built. (3) Then came the word of the Eternal by Haggai [My festival] the prophet, saying, (4) Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled [paneled] houses, and this house lie waste? (5) Now therefore thus saith the Eternal of hosts; Consider your ways. [This is not just addressing people back then. These are words for us today.]

Haggai 2:6 For thus saith the Eternal of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land

"A little while" when God will shake the heavens, the earth, and the sea, is not for back then, but for today. "The Eternal's house," the temple referred to in verse 1, is therefore referring primarily to the spiritual temple.

Haggai 1:14-15 And the Eternal stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the Eternal of hosts, their God, (15) In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.

That 24th day of the 6th month is approximately a week before the Feast of Trumpets.

Haggai 2:1 In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the Eternal by the prophet Haggai, saying...

What is this day? It is the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Remember, the word Haggai means "My feast." God does not do things arbitrarily. There is a reason, a meaning in these words. There is a reason why He has chosen certain dates and why He gave this particular prophecy during the Feast of Tabernacles.

Remember, the Eternal is giving this prophecy to the prophet "My feast." Haggai 2:2-3 Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, (3) Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?

Again, this is not just talking to the people at that time. The primary application of these verses is to you and me today. When we look back 20 years to the spiritual temple, the Church of God, that we saw in its first glory, how do we see it now in comparison to what was then?

Haggai 2:4-5 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Eternal; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Eternal, and work: for I am with you, saith the Eternal of hosts: (5) According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.

When we were initially converted, when we came out of sin and started down a certain road in a certain direction, what was the word that was "covenanted with us"? We counted the cost at baptism, saying: "Come what may, this is the way I am going to go; and I am going to go this way for eternity."

Haggai 2:6-10 For thus saith the Eternal of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; (7) And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations [Christ, the One who will restore all things] shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Eternal of hosts. (8) The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Eternal of hosts (9) The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former [this spiritual temple is going to be greater], saith the Eternal of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Eternal of hosts. (10) In the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Eternal by Haggai ["My feast"] the prophet, saying,

What date is this? This year (2006) the 24th day of the 9th month is the 15th of December. Am I saying this is the year and this is the date that starts things coming to fruition? No, I am not saying that at all; but we are to be aware of this date in the book of Haggai at the end time.

Haggai 2:11-12 Thus saith the Eternal of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying, (12) If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.

In other words, if you have "holy flesh," part of a sacrifice, and you put it into your pocket and you touch common food, does that make the food you touched holy? No. Look at the spiritual implication. If you have something holy, some spiritual truth, and that spiritual truth touches something, does that make what you touched holy? No, it does not.

Haggai 2:13 Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.

The spiritual implication here is that if you are unclean and you touch some spiritual truth, does that make it unclean? The answer is, yes.

The concept for these verses comes from Leviticus 6:27: "Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy: and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the holy place."

It is not a case of the sacrifice making the person holy. It is a case of the person having to be holy to eat the sacrifice.

Haggai 2:14 Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Eternal; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.

Remember, this is not talking specifically about people who lived at the time this prophecy was given. It is talking about us today because it says "in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land" (verse 6). It is talking to the Church of God today. So "is this people" unclean because they have gone their own way, as opposed to God's Way; and if they have some truth, they pollute the very truth that they have!

Haggai 2:15 And now, I pray you, consider from this day [the 24th of the 9th month, December 15th this year in 2006] and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the Eternal:

I Kings 5 talks about the foundation being laid for the physical temple. I Kings 5:17 And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.

The wailing wall itself is made of just such huge stones. They weigh many, many tons, and yet fit together perfectly. And yet the construction technique used originally was to prepare such stones completely off-site and then only bring them together after they were ready -- totally prepared ahead of time for their eventual job.

I Kings 6:7 And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.

When it says in Haggai 2:15 "And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the Eternal" it is referring to the assembling of spiritual stones. The stones for the original physical temple had been prepared at various locations and were brought in and placed one on top of another. We, the spiritual stones of the spiritual temple, are being prepared at various locations as well.

Before the spiritual stones are laid into position, before we actually have the temple to which Christ returns, Haggai says: Haggai 2:16 Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty. (17) I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the Eternal. (18) Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the Eternal's temple was laid, consider it.

There will come a point in time when the temple of God will be put together, when these spiritual stones are placed one on top of another.

Haggai 2:19 Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.

The restoration of all things includes restoration of the Church of God. Eventually that will take place. Eventually, Zion, the temple to which Christ will return, is going to be built. That Zion will be here at Christ's return, and it will be made of spiritual stones (the people in God's church) prepared in various locations all across the earth and assembled at a particular location. It is to that Spiritual Temple that Christ will return.

Daniel 12 talks about a blessing; and I do wonder whether this can be tied back to what we just read in Haggai 2 about a blessing coming (verse 19), and a specific date given, and the foundation of the house being laid, one stone on top of another (verse 15). Daniel 12:12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

There is a blessing for those who wait and endure until the 1335 days. Mr. Armstrong felt that three things would take place at that time. First, the Work done by the Church of God would stop. Secondly, the Beast that would rise up would then be clearly visible in Europe. Thirdly, God's Church would be warned and readied to be taken to the place of safety from the Great Tribulation.

Daniel 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half [1,260 days, or 3½ years of tribulation]; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

The RSV translates the ending phrase: "..when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be accomplished."

This verse seems to imply that the shattering which we have witnessed will come to a certain stage and stop, and then the days of Daniel will start. There will be a blessing at that particular time. Am I saying that we are looking at the 15th of December this year for that to happen? Absolutely not. Am I saying that this particular date is the date for that to happen? No, I am not. What I am saying is to be aware of this date in Haggai. Be aware that it has an end-time fulfillment. Be aware that Haggai talks about a blessing and about a temple being built by having the stones laid one on top of the other. Be aware that Daniel 12 talks about a blessing and about the end of the shattering.

Isaiah 52:7-8 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! (8) Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Eternal shall bring again Zion.

Eventually, there will be Zion -- the spiritual temple, the Church of God. There also will be watchmen, and at that time they will see eye to eye. Exactly how in this time of shattering this will come together, exactly how this fragmentation suddenly will stop, I do not know. But we do know from prophecy that this fragmentation will stop and there is going to be a Zion (a spiritual temple) to which Christ will return and this temple will be assembled. It will be assembled of people who are converted. In the shattering that we have seen, people are being tested, tried. God is finding out what is in each and every one of us.

We are like stones being rubbed together. I remember an old miner saying to me, "How do you get stones so flat you cannot get something between them? There is only one way that I can think of, and that is to take two of them and rub one on top of the other."

The huge stones of the temple weighed something like 150 tons. How do you get something flat that weighs 150 tons? I cannot see any other way than to rub them together. Spiritually speaking, it means you get a bunch of God's people to a certain place, Derbyshire, for example, where we have the Feast, and rub them together, rubbing off all the rough edges, preparing them to eventually be transported to a certain location to be assembled, where the "stones" are placed to all fit together without making a sound (I Kings 6:7). Then Christ will return to His temple.

At this time, the Laodicean attitude is prevalent. We are in a society with this attitude. There will be a separation between Laodicea and Philadelphia. That is when the Laodicean church will be clearly seen. We may well see that division occurring at the 1,335 days spoken of in Daniel 12. The restoration of the Church is a vital stage in the eventual assembly of the spiritual temple.

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted...

In other words, turn to God's way and be converted, be changed. Start being transformed into a God-being, into children of the Living God.

..that your sins may be blotted out when [or "so that" -- so that there is a church, a people] the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; (20) And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: (21) 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.

We are coming to the time when all things will be restored, including such things as "grass for cows," which is just one small thing explained in a sermonette right here at the Feast. But even that is going to be part of the restoration of all things. It is part of the laws of God. "Restoring all things" means restoring all things back under the government of God, which is the Way of God that covers absolutely everything.

Acts 3:22-26 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. (23) And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. (24) Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. (25) Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. (26) Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

"That prophet" spoken of in verse 23 is Christ, "whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things." Christ is prophesied to restore all things. During the Millennium, all things will be restored back to the way God intended, back to the purpose for which God put things on the earth.

Cows, for example, have a rumen to digest grass. Their manure is filled with beneficial bacteria to the soil. With cows feeding on grass and excreting the waste, the soil fertility is increased in a way that you cannot get with chemical fertilizer. Even organic fertilizer does not have the same qualities as cow manure because of the bacteria within the manure. The bacteria will actually take soil particles and convert them to nutrients. Much of the fertility of the land in the Millennium is going to come out of the rumen of the cow. This is just one example of restoring all things.

Isaiah 31:6 Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted.

In other words, "Get back on track." We have rebelled against our God, as a nation, as Ephraim and Manasseh, and the rest of Israel. We have completely forgotten God. Here it is saying to turn back to Him against whom you have "deeply revolted."

Isaiah 31:7 For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin.

Computers, cars, televisions, DVDs -- whatever it is that is set up as a god is what people worship these days. They worship materialism.

It says in Isaiah 31, speaking of the time after the tribulation: Isaiah 31:8-9 Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. (9) And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Eternal, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.

Christ will return and sort out the problems -- "and double unto her double according to her works" (Revelation 18:6).

Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment..

Here is the beginning of the restoration of all things that we read about in Acts 3.

Isaiah 32:2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land

People who live in places like Texas, Florida, and Africa, can really appreciate having shade. The little airport in Kisumu, Kenya, has a very lovely outdoor reception lounge. There is a massive tree with tables underneath, and you can sit outside and have something cold to drink and wait for your plane to come. It is very nice.

Isaiah 32:3-4 And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. (4) The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.

There will be a restitution of eyesight and of the way we speak. A pure language will be given (Zephaniah 3:9).

Isaiah 32:5 The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful

It is not referring here to a political "liberal." The word "liberal" is here being used in its original meaning -- it was originally a word that means "outgoing" or "generous" or "bountiful".

Isaiah 32:6-7 For the vile person will speak villany [he will be plainly labeled], and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Eternal, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. (7) The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.

The churl (the scoundrel, the fraudulent) will be plainly labeled what he is. There will be no confusion.

Isaiah 32:8-14 But the liberal [a person who is outgoing] deviseth liberal things [with what he has]; and by liberal things shall he stand. (9) Rise up, ye women [symbolizing churches] that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. (10) Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. (11) Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins. (12) They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine. (13) Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city: (14) Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks;

"Forever" means as long as the condition lasts. The Hebrew word translated "forever" literally means "to the dim, distant future that you cannot see."

Isaiah 32:15 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest [the restoration of all things].

The fertility of the land will increase; and the majority of that fertility will be fertilizer from ruminants, be it sheep, goats, or cows.

Isaiah 32:16 Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.

We are not just talking about airy-fairy nonsense here. We are talking about righteousness. "Righteousness remain in the fruitful field" -- how you actually farm, how you get the kind of food that will produce health. This is the kind of restitution we are talking about.

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness [of the King who will reign in righteousness, the One responsible for the restitution of all things and the princes who will rule in judgment] shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

Christ Was Prophesied to Restore All Things

Matthew 16:27-28 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (28) Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

What is the "Son of Man" coming in His Kingdom to do? He is coming to restore all things. Specifically, He will come to His holy temple, and that Temple will have been made ready to restore all things with Him. This is what the Church is here for -- to be with Christ in that restoration of all things

Matthew 17:1-2 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, (2) And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

This was the glorified Christ. This was a glimpse of the "Spirit Christ," the returning Christ that will restore all things to this earth.

Matthew 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias [representing the State and the Church] talking with him. (4) Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

This is prophesying that you are looking at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, the fulfillment of "My Feast" (Haggai).

Matthew 17:5-11 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. [He is "That Prophet", the prophet that is to come.] (6) And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. (7) And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. (8) And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. (9) And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision [it was a vision looking forward to the future] to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. (10) And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? (11) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.

We know what "Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things" means. We are here in this fellowship, rather then somewhere else, because of understanding what that means, because of understanding what apostleship is, the reason why God sends an apostle, and the restoration of all things through this specific individual who was sent.

Matthew 17:12 -13 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. (13) Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. [John the Baptist was a type of the end-time Elijah.]

Zerubbabel As A Signet

Who is the Zerubbabel spoken of in Haggai? Certainly Mr. Armstrong recognized himself as the Zerubbabel. Zechariah 4:9, "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it..." Mr. Armstrong has laid the foundation, his hands have typed the words, so to speak; and those words are there to help the church, to make sure it is ready.

Haggai 2:20-22 And again the word of the Eternal came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying, (21) Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; (22) And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.

This is talking about the return of Christ, the establishment of the Kingdom of God, the beginning of the restitution of all things.

Haggai 2:23 In that day [when Christ returns, when Christ has established the Kingdom], saith the Eternal of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the Eternal, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Eternal of hosts.

The timing of this verse is after Christ returns. Here, then, is the signet. What is a signet? We are talking about the restoration of all things, putting back to a former condition. Mr. Armstrong taught this over and over. He talked about going back to a former condition, about the government of God having been on this earth, then Satan taking the government of God away, and man being allowed a certain span of time. We are looking at the Millennium coming when Satan's rule will be finished, and Satan will no longer be broadcasting.

What is a signet? I Kings 21 talks about Naboth's vineyard. King Ahab is sulking because Naboth will not let him have his vineyard. I Kings 21:7-8 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. (8) So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.

The word "seal" is the same word that is used in Haggai for "signet."

I Kings 21:9 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:

Jezebel told them to kill Naboth. She used the signet to write the letters in the king's name. Presumably it was a signet ring. There are different signets. Sometimes a signet is a stamp, whereby you stamp something. Certain kings of England and France had various stamps. They were official stamps or seals. With a signet ring they would melt wax onto a document and impress the signet ring into the wax, and that would be the official signet or signature. That is where the word "signature" comes from.

Daniel 6 relates the story of when the officials consulted to establish a royal decree "that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions." Darius assented, forgetting about Daniel; and Daniel was put into the lion's den.

Daniel 6:17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

Clay or wax was put on the door of the lion's den, and Darius and his nobles put their signets on it to seal the door to make sure that Daniel could not get out. A signet is an official signature and carries the authority of the king. Jezebel said, "You are the king. You have power. Use it."

Haggai 2:23 In that day, saith the Eternal of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the Eternal, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Eternal of hosts.

In other words, You are the one, Zerubbabel, who is going to give instructions and say: "This is the official way, walk in it." As a signet, he is carrying the authority of the King himself, the One who became Christ, into the entire world. If this Zerubbabel is Mr. Armstrong, we are looking at something that will take place in the future which has to do with the restoration of all things. God said, "I will send you Elijah the prophet and he will restore (Malachi 4:5, Matthew 17:11). Mr. Armstrong only began the restoration as a human being; but it seems, from these verses, that he is likely to continue that in the future and help Christ administer the restitution of all things -- the government of God, the way of God -- over the entire earth

That is why it is so important that we get back on track because there needs to be a people, there needs to be "stones" that can be slotted into the various positions, so that Christ has a people to work with in helping Him administer the restitution of all things.

Revelation 3:7-8 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; (8) I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it...

That was true. Once God had opened the doors, Mr. Armstrong walked through them; and no man was able to shut them -- be it the door of radio and television, be it the door of going before kings, presidents, emperors, and prime ministers.

..for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name [the authority of God].

Mr. Armstrong tried to apply the government of God, The Way of God, in every aspect of life at Ambassador College, at SEP, and in the church -- to recapture the true values, to show that God's way works, to show God's way in action and to prepare a people to be teachers, which is what the Church is all about. He was constantly trying to take what is in the word of God and apply it to all aspects of life.

This is the spiritual heritage that we need to continue in -- understanding and applying the way of God in our own situations in this time of shattering that we find ourselves in -- so that we can be ready when God assembles His temple, ready for Christ's return. God is going to do the assembling, not us. And God will do it!

Those who are constantly trying to get everybody from all the different scattered groups together, irregardless of what the people in those groups believe, do not understand that that is not God's way. God will do the assembling of his temple in His time and in His Way. I do not know how the assembling is going to be done. But I do know the indication within scripture is that it is going to take place. And when it does, there is going to be a blessing. When it does, when that shattering comes to an end, we are there. The days of Daniel begin, the start of the countdown to the return of Christ, the beginning of the very millennial rule -- everything begins at the 1,335 days. That is the key. "He who reads Daniel, let him understand," because that is a key area.

"You have kept My word." Mr. Armstrong was loyal to this word, even to the point of saying: "No, I cannot reverse the decision regarding divorce and remarriage." Even though the ministers were coming to him and saying: "Look, this is crazy. We have to do something about this," he said, "No, I cannot do it because I cannot see within scripture the means of doing it." It was only when 1 Corinthians 7 was understood about who "the rest" is (7:12) could he do that.

Mr. Armstrong said in a bible study, "Look, people come to me and try to explain to me a way of doing it (divorce and remarriage). I would like to, but somebody explain how we can do this. I cannot go beyond the word of God." It caused all kinds of trouble, but God allowed it. God allowed it to go on and on and on, then He revealed about I Corinthians 7; and the whole thing became clear regarding divorce and remarriage. Yet it was a trial! But, Mr. Armstrong was faithful. "You have kept My word and you have not denied My Name." He remained faithful throughout his ministry.

Revelation 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

We look forward to this day; and I am convinced that many of us, if not all of us, will actually witness this.

Philadelphia As The Pillars

Revelation 3:10-11 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try [test] them that dwell upon the earth. (11) Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Here Revelation 3 flows from the leader of the Philadelphia Era to the people that have been called through his work, the Church.

Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out...

"You do not have to leave fellowships constantly," which we have all had to do over the last number of years. Twenty years ago we did not look at this verse the way we do today. We look at it in a very different way today.

..and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

The word "name" always carries with it authority. The pillars are going to carry the authority of God out to restore all things, being taught at headquarters and going out to restore the ways of God. The ways of God in agriculture, for example, which is a very big area.

The British government does not seem to understand that agriculture produces food, and that that is what it is for. It is not for something that is nice so that you can go walking in the Peak District. Yes, it should be pleasant; and it will be in the Millennium. There will be park lands, no question about that; but that is not agriculture's primary purpose. Agriculture produces food, and food produces health. People need right agriculture. "The answer is in the soil," so to speak; and that is true. The answer does lie in the soil, because if the soil is not fit, if the soil is dead, which it is in so many cases, then there will be bad nutrition for the people; and with bad nutrition comes illnesses.

Every aspect of society is going to have to be restructured. We are to be the pillars in that restoration process. Not everyone will be in this position.

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore [be alert]: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. (43) But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

We had been fast asleep and did not realize what was going on in 1986, 1987. About 1989, I suddenly started thinking, this is not right. I knew what happened in the 70's, and I could see how Mr. Armstrong was brought back from the dead by God, but I thought, there is no Mr. Armstrong to come back from the dead now. I remember sitting down with the another minister at that time and discussing the situation with him, and asking, "What happens now?" Neither of us had any idea. Our conclusion was, "God will never let it go as far as it went in the 70's." We did not realize or understand the direction it was going to take at all.

Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Remember, "He who reads Daniel, let him understand." The 1,335 days is the crucial time. Once that starts, it will not be longer than 1,335 days until the return of Christ.

Matthew 24:45-46 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? (46) Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

The job of the ministry is to give meat in due season. We have to keep doing that. It is also the job of anyone who gets up to speak. You speak to give food in due season.

Matthew 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

In other words, that person will be used in the restoration process, the restoring of all things. The restoration of all things has not happened yet. It started, but it was merely the beginning of it. What is needed at this time has indeed been restored to the Church. But that restoration will continue into the Millennium. At that time it will be done by Christ Himself, certainly. But there is also every indication that He will use this "Zerubbabel" in the restoration process during the Millennium as well, as His signet -- restoring all things -- and also those who have been faithful in "holding that fast that we had" (Rev 3:11).

Matthew 24:48-49 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; (49) And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken [the "wine of her fornication].

Remember: If you have holy food (God's Truth) in your garment and you touch something, does it make what you touch holy? No. But if you touch something which is unclean, does that contamination then make any holy food you may be dealing with (the truth you think you have) unclean? Yes, it does.

Matthew 24:50-51 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, (51) And shall cut him asunder [cut him off], and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Not all are going to be pillars in that restoration process. There is a reason why the Church is shattered today. There is a reason why we are getting in contact with each other and being ground and polished. It is so that we can be used. But there are going to be some that will not be pillars in the restoration process, and we need to understand that.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy

That "wisdom from above," the restoration that has to take place, has to first be pure. We need to make sure that we hold fast, "contend earnestly for the faith that was once delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3), remembering that "Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8), that "there is one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism" (Ephesians 4:5). There is only one way. There is only one spiritual heritage. That is the way of God, and that is what we have to earnestly contend for and earnestly hang on to so that we can be "at one" in the World Tomorrow.

We need to also be "at one" within the Church now as well, because there is going to be a building of the spiritual temple. When that temple comes together, there will be individuals that will make up the one Church. It will not be, "We are of Wales." "We are of such and such a place." We must be under the same spiritual heritage; and it is that spiritual heritage that is so important; that is what we must get back to.

God is developing and grinding these stones wherever He places them. He is preparing a people. Where are they all right now? I do not know. All I know is what I must do. It is not for me to even speculate where they all are. But God certainly does know. As He said to Elijah, "I have 7,000 in Israel who have not bowed to Baal" (I Kings 19:18).

Malachi 3:13-14 Your words have been stout against me, saith the Eternal. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? (14) Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Eternal of hosts?

You can go on the Internet and see such words almost verbatim being brought out on certain sites.

Malachi 3:15-16 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. (16) Then they that feared the Eternal spake often one to another: and the Eternal hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name [thought upon His authority].

God is involved in the process of testing that we are going through. He should be with each and every one of us. We should be in our knees. God's Holy Spirit should be flowing through us.

Malachi 3:17-18 And they shall be mine, saith the Eternal of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. (18) Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

Then you will be able to be involved in this restoration process. You can see what is right and what is wicked. I am not talking about the pseudo-righteousness that we understand from the pseudo-churches. I am talking about such things as, "How are you keeping your cows, and how are you not keeping your cows." Is it righteous, or is it wicked? That is the level. Every single aspect of our life is affected. And every aspect of life within the World Tomorrow will be affected -- truly, a restoration of all things.

Isaiah 58:1-3 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. (2) Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God [this is talking about the Church] (3) Wherefore have we fasted [few people in the world fast], say they, and thou seest not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours [trying to get what you want continually].

Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

This is being applied to us individually because as we can see in verse 9 the "thee" is singular. Isaiah 58:9 Then shalt thou call, and the Eternal shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee [singular] the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

This is talking about making sure that we look at ourselves in the day of the fast as we relate to other people.

Isaiah 58:10-12 And if thou draw out thy [singular] soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: (11) And the Eternal shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (12) And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

If we "get it right," that is what we have been told will happen, that we will actually be one of these individuals that will be involved in this restoration process, in the restoration of the "paths to dwell in," and these paths will be for eternity.

A Restoration to Eden

There is going to be a temple to which Christ will return. There is going to be a wife that is made ready.

Revelation 19:7 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.

Ready for what? Just the marriage ceremony? Is that all that is being referred to here? Read the context in verse 1.

Revelation 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: (2) For true and righteous are his judgments [plural] for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

Here is the instrument Satan is using to corrupt the earth; and it is not just the "great whore" but all her harlot daughters as well, drunk with the wine of her fornication. The corruption even comes into the Church, according to Matthew 24. This great whore who has corrupted the earth is going to be judged. The restoration of all things that we have been talking about is a restoring of the earth as a result of this corruption.

Revelation 19:3-7 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. (4) And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. (5) And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. (6) And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. (7) 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.

The wife has made herself ready -- to do what? To reign with Christ. Revelation 20 says: "They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." The wife will be ready for that reigning, for that rulership and restoration of this earth.

In Genesis 2 we see the earth as it was at the time of man just before Satan took over, and the way it needs to return to.

Genesis 2:7-8 And the Eternal God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul [a living, breathing creature]. (8) And the Eternal God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

Remember what Christ said to the thief on the cross, "Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). The word "paradise" is a Greek word, and it comes from the Aramaic, the eastern idea, where they had a stately home or stately area surrounded by a garden or park land. This park land was called "paradise" because it was a beautiful, stunning garden. The entire earth will be transformed into that -- the garden that not only produces beauty but also produces food and all that man needs. The whole society will be built on that. It is a restoration of paradise across the whole earth.

In Ezekiel 36 we are looking at the mind of God, the mind of the One who became Christ, at what He originally intended. If you went to Ambassador College and saw the landscaping, you would also be seeing the thinking of Mr. Armstrong in producing what was there. What was actually there at the College was just this kind of environment. That is what the grounds were all about. Mr Armstrong looked in the Bible and was faithful to the word of God -- even in this area. He was also faithful to "God's name" as well. He did not deny the authority of God.

Ezekiel 36:24-25 For I will take you [talking to Israel] from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. (25) Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

Satan will no longer be influencing at all. He will be removed completely. His influence will have gone. Imagining a world like that is almost beyond our comprehension. Yet, that is the way it is going to be.

Ezekiel 36:26-28 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (27) And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (28) And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

The restoration of all things begins in the Church, but here is the next stage. Here is Israel being transformed -- but into what?

Ezekiel 36:32-36 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord Eternal, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. (33) Thus saith the Lord Eternal; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. (34) And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. (35) And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced [or clipped], and are inhabited. (36) Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Eternal build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Eternal have spoken it, and I will do it.

The earth is to be restored and be like Eden -- the paradise of God. The animals, the plants, everything, will change, because an attitude of mind will disappear. The entire earth will have a different attitude, a different approach of mind. It will be an entire earth "at one" with God, "at one" with creation. The creation will be "at one" with the lion lying down with the kid. Mankind will be "at one" as well

The restoration of all things must begin here in the Church. This is why the Church is in a shattered state, why we look at this temple now and say: "What is it like compared with what we formerly knew? Is it not as nothing?" We will see a change because of the spiritual quality in the Church. God can tell who serves Him and who does not serve Him. We have to do the same. We have to determine between the righteous and the wicked, between the person who serves God and the person who does not serve Him, to be a part of that team. Which team? It is a team which has been given responsibility to restore all things, to restore this earth to being under the government of God -- That Way of God -- that covers absolutely everything.

transcribed in article form by KA. Edited by JB.

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"LORD" replaced with "Eternal" our edit throughout