Is The Restoration Principle valid? – Part II


In our first installment of this study we noted that Jesus pointed His contemporaries back to the written standard of the Old Testament to resolve the religious questions of the day.  Going back to see what the Scriptures taught was the only way they could guarantee that the Jewish religion stayed on the path that God had charted through Moses and the Prophets.  The principle is the same, but we would be guilty of restoring the wrong period religion if we restored the Law of Moses after the cross of Christ and the beginning of Christ’s New Covenant.  In fact the inspired writers made it clear that the Old Testament had to end so that this New Covenant of Christ could begin (Hebrews 8:13; 10:9; Col. 2:14; Rom. 7:1-4).  
In the New Testament we are given a picture of a new covenant, a new institution, a new and living way.  The apostles were told that they would be given the authority to bind Heaven’s message (Matthew 16:18; 18:18).  When they spoke under inspiration, they were speaking God’s Will for the New Testament church.  Their teachings became the new measuring stick, the new standard for men to consult to learn the will of God for today.
The first congregation, the Jerusalem brethren on the day of Pentecost and afterward, continued steadfastly in the  apostles’ doctrine or teaching.  Acts 2:42 - “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”  This was a binding standard, and to err was to forfeit fellowship.  
As we read the history of the early church’s spread in the book of Acts, we learn that inspired men went into all the world with the message of salvation. With harmony and unity they told people all over the world how to be children of God.  Churches (congregations of the Lord’s church) were established.   As problems arose, letters were written by inspired writers to tell men and congregations how to behave (I Timothy 3:15; I Corinthians 1:11).  They were no longer to look back to the Law of Moses for a pattern, but to the New Testament.   These Christians were admonished by words such as I Corinthians 1:10 - “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”  All the congregations were expected to all obey the very same teachings, thus unity.
 In the New Testament there was a beauty and simplicity of the new religion that came in to supersede the Old.  Neither can one read the New Testament without being aware that the writers foresaw a falling away from the pattern.
Acts 20:29 - “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.”
II Thessalonians 2:3 - “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”
I Timothy 4:1 - “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
II Timothy 4:3,4 - “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
These are a few of the warnings men wouldn’t always be true to the standard.  This being the case, we can expect a time to come after close of New Testament when there would be a need for a restoration.

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