“Until whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.” – Acts 3:21.
The great master of art Michelangelo labored over three years to produce the great masterwork on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. During its 500 years on that church ceiling the work was subjected to rising smoke from candles and torches, as well as applications of primitive materials attempting to preserve the fresco. By the time this artist was to see that painting for the first time, it was a darkened painting essentially in earth tones. We mistakenly understood that to be the master’s great original work. It was not until the restoration of that huge work of art, which took much longer than the time for the artist to produce it, did we realize that we had been fooled. As the darkened sludge that had built up on the painting was painstakingly removed, the original colors shone forth, the contrast of the cleaned portions appearing as if a spotlight had touched it. The original work of the master’s hand was finally revealed in its glowing and glorious colors, shocking many, even some critics offended by this revelation.
This may be a parabolic picture of the time of restoration in which we are now living. We are all living witnesses of the desolate biblical Land of Israel restored to life and fertility after two millennia (a desolation which Mark Twain gave witness to in his 1867 book The Innocents Abroad). And that being by the restoration of the dispersed people of Israel re-gathered to this ancient land after 2000 years, a phenomenon without precedent in human history. With that return came also the restoration of the ancient Biblical tongue of Hebrew, which lay as a dead language for that same time, now resurrected to a living language. In the year prior to the restoration of the State of Israel in 1948, the first of the Dead Sea scrolls was discovered hidden in an ancient cave, happening to be the entire Hebrew scroll of Isaiah the Prophet which predicted this very phenomenon. Then in 1967, in a war that lasted six days, very reminiscent of that first 6-day creation in Genesis, the city of Jerusalem was restored to the Jewish people, fulfilling two millennia of their prayers, a tiny nation that has miraculously survived and prospered against overwhelming odds this 70 years. In this same epoch many Jewish people have been sovereignly restored to the Jewish Messiah Yeshua, king of the Jews.
With this rapid succession of events the New Covenant scriptures are being restored to their original Hebraic meanings, as now understood from the restored understanding of the Hebrew language in their original Jewish context in which they were written. The Gospel that went forth from Jerusalem in the 1st Century AD has now returned to Jerusalem, and many of the additions and subtractions and changes that had been added to Christianity as it moved through millennia of translations and mistranslations, adding a darkened residue upon the Master’s words and works, are now being painstakingly removed, restored and revealing its original brilliant colors.
As with the restoration of Michelangelo’s masterpiece, some critics speak vehemently against this revealing sign, while others see it as the very finger of God in our days. But the Reformation that was born in Germany has fulfilled its historic purpose and is finished, and “the time of the Gentiles” draws to a close (Luke 21:24; Romans 11:25; Ezekiel 16:53; Joel 3:1). Now the period of the Restoration is upon us and returning to Jerusalem, where it all began and will be consummated.
“Salvation,” the Messiah told us all, “is of the Jews” (John 4:22).