After Brian Simmons and I ended the last podcast we did, we had a brief conversation about a book entitled Millennarian Views: With Reasons For Receiving Them by Alfred Bryant. While Brian did not come out and say that I should buy this book, everything he said and the way he said it was like he was recommending the book especially for me. It was like the tone of his voice was saying, “You personally will enjoy the book.” So I found it on Alibris and bought it.
This past weekend I went to a men’s retreat and brought the book along with me. Now I understand why Brian wanted me to read this book. Many of the things that Alfred Bryant wrote are things that I have maintained on my blog for some time. I’ve only read three chapters but already I’m thinking about putting aside my other reading so I can spend more time in this book. Bryant is listed in this book as having been a pastor right here in Michigan. His theology is thought provoking and somewhat unique. I believe that many of the things that he presents will impact my theology as well. Here is a quote as he writes to promote the premillennial position:
In Acts 3:19-21, a time of the restitution of all things is spoken of, which very clearly illustrates and confirms the views above stated.
“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; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heavens must receive, until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”
But what is meant by the restitution of all things, here predicted?
The term restitution, Bloomfield says, “properly signifies a restoration of anything to some former state,” and by implication for the better. Robinson, in his Greek lexicon, gives the same definition, and refers its use “to Messiah’s future reign or kingdom.” Webster, in his quarto Dictionary, defines the word restitution to mean, among other things, “The act of recovering a former state, or posture;” and then referring to this passage in Acts, he says, “Restitutions of all things, is, the putting the world in a holy and happy state.”
This is undoubtedly the meaning of the term, and hence it cannot refer, as some teach, to the exaltation of the righteous to heaven, or the consummation of all things at the last day, as commonly understood, for there is no restoration in any of these things, in the sense described, to a former and better state previously possessed. It could not be said of the Jews that they would be restored to their won land, if they had never before dwelt in it, nor of any man that he was restored to an office which he never before held.
Now, if this restitution of all things is spoken of by all God’s holy prophets since the world began, then certainly, without any doubt or speculation, we can, by searching the scriptures, learn what the apostle means.
But before this is done, let us notice another remarkable passage in Matt. 19:27, 28, in which the same great and glorious truth respecting the restitution of all things is revealed.
“Then answered Peter, and said unto him, behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon the twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
There is then, according to the teaching of our Lord, to be a time of regeneration, specially and emphatically so denominated. The term, regeneration, means reproduction, the act of forming into a new and better state. Robinson, in his Greek Lexicon, says of the original word, “That it refers to the complete external manifestation of Messiah’s kingdom, when all things are to be delivered from their present corruption and restored to spiritual purity and splendor.”
Now this complete and perfect restoration and regeneration of all things, brought to view in these interesting passages, are predicted clearly, and somewhat in detail by the holy prophets.
The author then goes on to cite Isaiah 2:2-5, 11:9, Jeremiah 31:34, Isaiah 52:10, 60:18-21, 45:22, 23, Psalm 72:11, 17, 86:9, Malachi 1:11, Isaiah 65:17-19, and Daniel 7:27 with comments interspersed. His point about the restoration being a subject that the holy prophets concerned themselves with from the beginning of the world did not come as a total surprise, but that verse has not quite resonated with me so clearly as the way he brought it out. Surely from the fall of Adam the Lord has been speaking to mankind that the world will be restored from whence we marred it. I don’t think I’m done blogging about this book. But since I haven’t finished it, I’ll wait to share more and get back to my studies at hand.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman