Restorers---That He Might Be Glorified

Seventh-day Adventists are more restorers, as was Elijah, than we are initiators, as was Moses. "Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things" (Matt. 17:11). The work of the Elijah message in a sense is a message that calls men and women to restore truths that have long been neglected, ignored, or forgotten. . .

ISAIAH 58:12 is a well-known Seventh-day Adventist text. For years we have included it as one of our strong texts in presenting the Sabbath truth. "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 breath, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

The word "restorer" is derived from a Hebrew root meaning "to turn (back)," "to bring back home," "to recover," "to rescue," "to cause to return." It is the same original from which the verb in Psalm 23:3 comes: "He restareth my soul."

The Advent message is a message of restoration restoration of obscured, forgot ten, or ignored truth. The Advent message calls men and women back to "the old paths." "Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls" (Jer. 6:16).

Seventh-day Adventists are more restorers, as was Elijah, than we are initiators, as was Moses. "Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things" (Matt. 17:11). The work of the Elijah message in a sense is a message that calls men and women to restore truths that have long been neglected, ignored, or forgotten.

Christ's Work as a Restorer Foretold

Jesus Christ was a restorer. He was more than a restorer of truth that had been obscured beneath ceremonialism, truth that had been forgotten, truth that had been ignored. Note these words of the gospel prophet foretelling the work of our Master. "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified" (Isa. 61:1-3).

The Master Restorer

The Master fulfilled all the gospel prophet foretold. His, indeed, was a ministry of restoration. See Jesus on the Sabbath day confronted with a needy man and an accusing band of Pharisees. When challenged to heal a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath day, Jesus said to the man, "Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other" (Matt. 12:13).

How the "oil of joy" must have flowed in that man's being, how the act must have clothed him with "the garment of praise." His poor, lame hand was restored; it was whole, full of life and strength. He could use it again because he had come in contact with the Great Restorer.

Pause by the Master's side as a crowd brings to Him a blind man in Bethsaida. The sightless one's friends "besought him to touch him" (Mark 8:22). "And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly" (verses 24, 25).

"He was restored." Who could know the joy this act of love kindled in the healed man's heart. No wonder he must have loved the Saviour the first face he had ever seen was the lovely countenance of his great Benefactor, his great Restorer. So it was everywhere the Saviour went He restored peace to troubled hearts; He restored hope to lost souls. He restored confidence to the discouraged. He even restored life to the dead. Such was His ministry of restoration.

Jesus is our example. We are to follow in His steps. (See 1 Peter 2:21.)

Workers and Leaders Are Restorers

The Rotherham translation of Isaiah 58:12 is, "Restorer of paths leading home." Seventh-day Adventist ministers and leaders are to be restorers restorers of paths leading home. "The work of beneficence enjoined in this chapter [Isaiah 58] is the work that God requires His people to do at this time. It is a work of His own appointment." Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 265. Our lay activities leaders remind us of the relationship of this statement to the welfare work that needs to be done today. This is true. Might it not also refer to a needed work of restoration that Seventh-day Adventist workers and leaders are called to do?

How much repairing and restoring is needed in the world! There are many forgotten or ignored truths of God's Word that need restoring. But there is more! It is this "more" that is the burden of my heart in this message.

The world is filled with broken lives, broken homes, broken careers, broken promises, broken confidence, broken faith, broken hearts. How much restoring these lonely, bitter, faithless lives need.

There are needs within our own church! In too many troubled hearts there is frustration, sorrow, disappointment, discouragement, hopelessness, and perhaps even bitterness and hatred. How much these poor hearts need faith and hope, joy, courage and confidence, and love. In such moments God calls each worker, each leader, regardless of the post he fills, to be a restorer. We are the ones "to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness . . . , that he might be glorified." This is your work; this is my work. We are to be restorers. We may be administrators or department leaders or institutional workers, but if the hands of ordination have been laid upon us we are first shepherds of the flock, shepherds with hearts. And the shepherd's first work is to restore!

The Spiritually Fallen Need Restoring

How many wanderers need to be shown the "paths leading home." Someone told me recently there were more than a thousand former Seventh-day Adventists in the vicinity of one of our colleges. The conference' president urged me to come and hold a decision effort in the city. I hope I can someday. I can think of other areas with a large concentration of Adventists where, no doubt, this number of backslid den members could be equaled or surpassed. In too many places our apostasies have been high. How much these places need restorers, shepherds with hearts filled with love who will go in search of the lost and bring them back to the safety of the fold! God is looking for all of us to be restorers.

I can still see the appealing eyes looking into mine. They were the.eyes of the first baptismal candidate I had personally laid beneath the waters many years ago. His experience had been up and down some times spiritually abounding and in the church, sometimes discouraged and out on the fringes. He was a brilliant man of talent but highly emotional. Here he was, sitting beside me thirty years since I had last seen him.

"Elder," he said sadly, "the church members want to give me Bible studies. They want to explain the 2300 days and the state of the dead." He faltered, then continued, "I know those doctrines as well, perhaps better, than they do. It is not doctrine that I need; it is love and understanding."

"Love and understanding"---here are two important tools of the restorers. Usually when persons leave this message it is not because they have changed their mind about the doctrine. Many times they leave because they are lonely, discouraged, or just plain bored. They need help. They need a friendly visit. They need encouragement. They need a Calvary more than they need a Sinai. They need a restorer. They need you. They need me.

Those Who Have Made Mistakes Need Restoring

I was attending one of our large meetings not long ago. As I made my way through that great mass of people following the service I was conscious of a hand on my arm. Turning, I saw a familiar face. It was the face of a worker I had had part in saving many years before. The man had made a mistake. We could have dismissed him from the work, but the committee gave him another chance.

"Elder," he said, his face lightened with joy. "I drove 150 miles to this meeting to day to tell you I haven't let you down. I've made good."

We are here to save men, not to crush them. Wherever we can do so, as leaders, we should save men restore them and let them make good. Sometimes the conduct of an individual is such that we can not save him to the church or to the work, but where we can let us do so. Let us restore him. "Brethren, if a man be over taken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Gal. 6:1).

The New English Bible translates the apostle's word: "You who are endowed with the Spirit must set him right again very gently."* (Italics supplied.) We as workers, as leaders, should be known for our gentleness. Christianity makes a man a gentleman!

"Workers may make mistakes, but you should give them a chance to correct their errors, give them an opportunity to learn caution, by leaving the work in their hands." Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300. Sometimes conditions make it imperative to move men. Sometimes it is best to leave them right where they are giving them opportunity to demonstrate their ability to make good on the spot where they failed. As leaders we may restore their determination to succeed as workers and Christians. We are to do this "very gently."

Restorers of comfort. Restorers of faith. Restorers of confidence. Restorers of truth. Restorers of peace. Restorers of joy. This is "the work that God requires His people to do at this time." It is "a work of His own appointment." This is true revival and reformation. This is your work and my work as leaders in God's church. May God help us to be faithful to our calling and may the world be a happier, holier place in which to live because of our ministry of restoration!

* From The New Enblish Bible, New Testament. © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press and the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961. Reprinted by permission.

Advertisement - Digital Discipleship (300x250)

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

March 1970

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Peter Standing Up With the Eleven

The decision that has always been called forth by Spirit-filled preaching has determined the eternal destiny of the hearers. The apostle Paul pictures preachers of the gospel as "captives of Christ's triumphal procession" spreading "abroad the fragrance of the knowledge of himself!

Across the Table: Pointers for Successful Personal Work

No danger is greater than that the minister will rely on methods or gimmicks to replace the time-consuming but vital personal contact. Literature, Bible correspondence courses, self-marking Bible guides, cannot do the work of the personal worker in the home or in the church office. The sermon will not do this work. True, some decisions are made as a result of preaching or reading or listening; but only personal work cements these decisions. . .

The Lord's Day and the Lord of the Sabbath

Some Bible students have supposed that the expression "the Lord's day" in Revelation 1:10 means the judgment day the great day of the Lord, in which He will judge the world and reward every man according to his works. During the period from the eighth to the fifth centuries before Christ, the prophets Amos, Isaiah, Joel, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Malachi spoke of the coming of "the day of the Lord" as a time of judgment and the visitation of His wrath upon the impenitent.

The Story of 4DK and Its Evangelism Potential

SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS often present too negative a picture to the public on alcohol-related subjects. We have the "don't do this," and "don't do that" approach often with very limited or short-term effect, without having a definite, positive, counter proposal. . .

New Approach to Alcoholism

TRADITIONAL alcoholism programs have been one-sided. They dealt with either alcohol alone, or with man, the user alone---not both.

A God Called Re---And a Parable

The ancient Egyptians worshiped a god called RE. They have long since abandoned this form of idolatry. But RE still has worshipers in many of our churches today. RE-frigerator that is!

The Offering of the Pastoral Prayer

O COME, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God" (Ps. 95:6, 7). Prayer is the high point of the church service. At this time the congregation is in direct communion with the Eternal. The reading of Scripture, the singing of hymns, and the preaching of the sermon must be secondary as these functions only speak about God; but when we pray, we are in direct conversation with the Almighty. . .


I WISH to spend a few minutes talking to the leaders about our most important work. We are all leaders in God's cause. Leadership in this day and time demands something different from anything we have given before. First, leadership demands intrinsic value. . .

Overuse of Sugar Worse Than Meat Eating!

How is it possible that the use of sugar "affects the brain very directly," could "clog the system," and "when largely used, is more injurious than meat"? For nearly a hundred years Adventists have been puzzled by these early statements by Ellen G. White (Counsels on Health, p. 150).

Worship Him Who Made (Concluded)

IN ORDER to present harmony between the data obtained through scientific endeavor and the testimony given through inspiration, one must have models that relate the two. Such models involve an interpretation of data obtained through a scientific study of nature, and also an interpretation of statements given by prophets who have been inspired by God. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has taken a position of assurance that successful models of this type exist, that a "correct understanding of both [science and the word of God] will always prove them to be in harmony" (Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 258).

Health Reform--A Balanced Program

WHEN King Solomon built his magnificent temple in Jerusalem, a variety of building materials such as cedar, marble, brass, gold, and silver was used. Each had its place in the creation of a perfect edifice of strength and beauty for the worship and glory of God. Similarly, in the development and care of the body temple a variety of health factors is necessary. Neglect of even one of these requirements can mar the full stature of the perfect man. Some of these essentials to buoyant health are physical, others are mental, and still others are spiritual.

Color and Design in Your Home

WITH a little extra planning, that home of yours can bring added pleasure to your family and the visitors who drop by. All it takes is the application of a few simple principles in the element of design. This more gracious living can be yours whether you are building a new home or refurbishing an old one. . .

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated


Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - NAD Stewardship (160x600)